Lightning Field, New Mexico

A piece of land art in the plains of western New Mexico consisting of 400 stainless steel poles projecting from the ground. The poles, averaging around 20 feet in height, have been known to attract occasional lightning strikes. The piece was built by the artist Walter De Maria in 1977. Rows of poles, around 220 feet apart, extend for one mile in one direction and for a kilometer in the other, making a rectangular grid of standard and metric proportions. The pointed tops of the poles meet at an even plane above the ground, said to be exact enough that if a hypothetical piece of glass were placed on the sculpture, all the tips of the poles would touch it. The piece, and much of the land around it, is owned by the Dia Center. Visitors stay overnight in an elegantly rustic cabin on the site, after being dropped off by Dia Center staff.