The Leshan Giant Buddha has an interesting history. The purpose of the Chinese monk Haitong who led its construction in 713 was to calm the turbulence in the waters that caused shipping vessels to sink in the river nearby.
When the budget ran short and construction came to a halt, the monk removed his own eyes to show piety. It was only 70 years later that the project pushed through when a jiedushi sponsored the financial costs of building the buddha.
Today, this huge structure that can be found in Sichuan, China, draws in tourists from all over. It has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the 1990s.
Image Source: popsugar.com