Giant Ants – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Giant Ants

Ant sculptures march up the side of what used to be an iconic spot in punk rock lore. 

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If you ever find yourself on South Street in Philadelphia, a popular and edgy neighborhood of restaurants, galleries, and bars, beware the giant ants. No, they’re not filming a remake of the 1954 sci-fi movie Them!. Those are punk rock ants.

The enormous ant sculptures that crawl up the facade of 407 South Street mark the former site of Zipperhead, a punk rock clothing and accessory shop that opened in 1980. The store was immortalized by the Dead Milkmen in their song “Punk Rock Girl”: One Saturday I took a walk to Zipperhead / I met a girl there, and she almost knocked me dead.

Although Zipperhead moved around the corner and was renamed Crash Bang Boom in 2005 (presumably because “zipperhead” was a racial slur for Asians coined during the Korean War), the ants (and the enormous faux zipper) remain, most likely eliciting perplexed looks from the shoppers who visit the trendy clothing boutique that occupies the building today.

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