Last updated: 12:30 PM ET, Tue August 18 2015

Fake McDonald's Sign Turned Tourist Attraction Removed From Australia Desert

Entertainment | Patrick Clarke | August 18, 2015

Fake McDonald's Sign Turned Tourist Attraction Removed From Australia Desert

Photo via YouTube

You know you've pulled off a world-class prank when even government officials have to tip their cap.

That's exactly what happened after a park ranger from Australia's Port Augusta was recently tasked with making a 12-hour drive to a remote part of the Simpson Desert Regional Reserve to take down a 50-foot-tall McDonald's sign that read "opening soon," Australia's reported.

Last month, a Melbourne-based artist took credit for the sign, which was set up in June, more than 120 miles into the desert and more than 320 miles away from the nearest McDonald's.

"Me and some army mates and a couple of other mates drove up for the Finke Desert Race," the anonymous artist told ABC Melbourne. "We decided on the second night that we'd put it up there."

"We put some solar powered lights on it so that it powers up at night and it's even more obvious."

Since it was erected two months ago, travelers had begun flocking to the structure, signing their names, taking photos and even recording videos like the one below.

Surprisingly, South Australia's environment minister Ian Hunter took the gag in stride, acknowledging that the stunt was humorous. "We do see the funny side of the McDonald's sign in the middle of nowhere," said Hunter via "But we must remind people that our national parks are here for everyone to enjoy and to appreciate their unspoilt values."

At the request of the operator, the sign has been relocated to the Mungerannie Hotel where it will likely live on as a quirky tourist attraction for years to come. 

"Now I reckon the Maccas sign is the number one picture," said a hotel rep via the Consumerist. "People just stand under it or stand in the bus stop with the Maccas sign above them and yeah, it’s a good laugh."

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