Go Big or Go Gnome: Australia Is Home to a Massive Gnome Village

Gnomesville, pop. 5000.
Gnomesville, pop. 5000. / Ian Cochrane, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

While the UK was said to be struggling with a garden gnome shortage last year, Australia seems to be having the opposite issue. So many gnomes have been collected in a roundabout that it's become known as Gnomesville.

According to Atlas Obscura, Wellington Mill is home to a veritable army of garden gnomes—thousands of them—that accumulated in protest of a roundabout that was implemented in the face of local opposition roughly 20 years ago. Disgruntled citizens began placing the gnomes in the area, which led to copycat gnome deposits. (Other versions of the story have workers staging a game of gnome cricket, or gnomes simply materializing without cause.)

Garden gnomes are pictured
There's no place like gnome. / Ian Cochrane, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Now, the site is overrun with gnomes and signs bearing gnome puns ("Better Gnomes and Gardens"), which are sometimes arranged by color or disposition. Musically inclined gnomes congregate in one area; gnomes that prefer sun exposure can gather in another.

The Gnomesville site estimates that 5000 gnomes currently occupy the area near the roundabout, with the number “continuously growing.” The site’s caretakers suggest that tourists drop off a gnome with some identifying information about their place of origin. A picnic area is also nearby.

The site also offers a chilling warning: "As you walk through the area, you’ll think you’ve come to the end of the gnomes—then you look up and see one peeking down at you, or you glance off to the right and see a whole other gathering of gnomes, up to who knows what. It’s easy to imagine that they talk when people aren’t around."

[h/t Atlas Obscura]