Grey nomads and other adventurers heading into the remote Simpson Desert travellers are being surprised by the seemingly imminent opening of a giant McDonald’s restaurant.
Some 200 kilometres into the desert, a huge sign has been erected advertising the soon-to-be-opened fast food restaurant, and – for those who cannot wait – there is even an emergency bag of burgers kept behind a breakable glass case.
However, McDonald’s says it is not behind the sign and insists it has no plans to open a restaurant in the middle of the 170,000 square kilometre Simpson.
McDonald’s spokesman Chris Grant told the ABC that the sign was a mystery.
“This one has us all intrigued,” he said. “I can assure you it is nothing to with us. The font and the style used on the sign is not consistent with our branding and it serves us no purpose.”
Most people suspect the sign is the work of a prankster but, if so, it is a prankster who had gone to an awful lot of trouble to make his or her mark in the wilderness. The signs can be seen from kilometres away in all directions.
The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources is to investigate the sign and its removal.
Believe it or not, this is not the biggest prank mystery to hit northern South Australia. Nearly 20 years ago, a 4.2-kilometre geoglyph depicting an Indigenous Australian man hunting with a boomerang was carved into the plateau west of Marree and was visible from the air for more than a decade. The ABC reports that, despite the size of the carving, not a single witness saw the work being carried out and to this day its creator remains a mystery.
* Have you seen the Maccas sign in the Simpson? Do you think these sorts of pranks are funny … or are they inappropriate? Are there any other ‘prank’ businesses that could have been advertised that would have raised even more of an eyebrow?