This Texan’s 3-Mile-Long Signature in Trees Can Be Seen From Space

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Tony Maples Photography


Everything is bigger in Texas, including one’s signature. A Lone Star State landowner used three miles of trees to spell out his name, creating the biggest name on earth. As a result, the signature of Jimmie Luecke has since been used to assess satellite imagery by the likes of NASA.

Luecke left his position in highway patrol as a Texas state trooper in 1980. He wanted to try oil drilling as a new career. He succeeded, making a small fortune in the Austin chalk oil boom, and from his profits, he purchased land outside of Smithville, Texas. There he settled in to raising cattle. By the late 1990s, he was still working hard at it, and in the process of clearing new grazing property, he got the inkling he should do a Texas-sized signature. In the process of bulldozing the land, he left his surname in the wooded portion.

This Texan's 3-Mile-Long Signature in Trees Can Be Seen From Space

Photo: Facebook/Mike Brunson

NASA isn’t the only group that can see the giant Luecke work of art. Those who fly over it, traveling from Austin to Houston (and vice versa) have a wonderful bird’s-eye-view of the giant signature. When traveling from the Texas Hill Country overhead, you can clearly see the signature spelled out in thousands of feet per letter. What was the reasoning behind it? The geoglyph was originally created simply because Jimmie wanted to. As a result, East Texas’ giant Luecke was inadvertently found to be useful for more than one thing! In a statement from NASA, it was revealed that “by clearing forest so that a pattern would be visible to landing aircraft, a landowner outside Austin, Texas created a target that is also useful for evaluating spatial resolution of astronaut photographs.” Turns out, this giant surname has an agricultural benefit as well. The process of alley cropping, making use of strips of trees to divide farmland, is a practice commonly used to stave-off soil erosion.