The Weird Reason People Are Protesting This McDonald's Dinosaur Statue

Residents of Tucson, Arizona, give directions by it. Parents waiting for their food at the McDonald's on the corner of East Grant Road and East Tanque Verde Road take pictures of their kids under it. It's one of the city's most famous landmarks — a realistic, life-size statute of Tyrannosaurus rex — and it has startled drivers and fascinated dinosaur-obsessed children since it went up, in 1994.

Now, after ruling this corner of Tuscon for more than a quarter-century, the T. rex is facing possible extinction — not from a meteor this time, but from people who believe he never existed.

According to fossil records, Tyrannosaurus rex called Arizona home more than 66 million years ago (via Visit Arizona). Some Christians with a literal reading of the Bible have a problem with that statement. While some merely question the timeline and say dinosaurs and humans have lived together during the Earth's 6,000-year history (via Answers In Genesis), others are outright dinosaur deniers.

While this may seem extreme, there's plenty of room on the internet for all beliefs. The group Christians Against Dinosaurs has a website and a private Facebook page with more than 19,000 members. And now, at least one member of this group has found a cause, right in the dinosaurs' backyard: that famous T. rex statue at the Tucson McDonald's.

The T. rex at the Tucson McDonald's isn't going anywhere

One of the members of the Christians Against Dinosaurs Facebook group called for the T. rex to be taken down: "Call the manager and demand the removal of this blasphemy!" (via Arizona Daily Star). The member posted the McDonald's address and phone number, but the staff reported no protest. It seems even Christians Against Dinosaurs doesn't endorse this one member's cause, as they eventually kicked him off their Facebook page.

The McDonald's franchise owner assured everyone that the terrible lizard staring down traffic outside the store won't be going anywhere. "People really seem to like it. It's a landmark really," a rep for the franchisee told the Arizona Daily Star.

The T. rex would be hard to take down, even if you wanted to. The 18-foot-tall, 40-foot-long beast is made of concrete, according to an earlier report in the Arizona Daily Star. The display is not so much a nod to Arizona's prehistory. It was a way the franchise's previous owners could please their dinosaur-loving 2-year-old. They had the dinosaur built by a nearby company that did similar work for the first Jurassic Park movie, which had come out the previous year.

The T. rex at the Tucson McDonald's made the news earlier this year, when it was fitted with a face mask in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic (via KGUN 9). There was no word of a protest from virus deniers at the time.