Australia is home to more than just a couple of big things. The big country, it has been said, has a love of similarly-oversized objects. The Big Mosquito is only one of a loosely related set of about 150 sculptures and large structures sprinkled across the country. Most of these, the Big Mosquito included, serve as some of the country’s top tourist traps and can be found along major roads and highways or between prominent travel destinations.
Built in 1993 at a cost of $17,200 and replaced in 2005 and 2010, Ossie the Mossie, as this giant bug is known, is modeled on the local Hexham Grey mosquito species. Surrounded by marshy swamplands and floodplains, Hexham, New South Wales, is an ideal location for mosquitoes, who breed and lay eggs in the moist environment. Known for their enormous size and ferocity, the Ochlerotatus alternans (Hexham Greys) is common in the area.
A suburb of Newcastle, Hewham settled in the 1820s and was named after Hexham, England, a small market town that was near another Newcastle. Many of the coal miners raised in Newcastle upon Tyne moved to New South Wales, Australia, at the time of settlement, tying these two communities together.