Recently Poloxamer, one of the admins on our Minecraft server, hosted a sculpture contest. We gave contestants a month to work -- keep in mind that they had to gather their own materials to do it and they did everything in standard mode. No flying, no mods to make things easier, just vanilla Minecraft and their own ingenuity. So, the million tons of stone gathered for the Egypt sculptures? The builder, Rethenut, pick-pick-pickaxed all of that.
Speaking of Egypt, here's Re's sphinx surrounded by some pyramids! I haven't tried entering the pyramids yet, but I'm tempted to drop in there and summon a few ghasts or other treats for anyone who dares enter without Re's permission. :) For a fun math problem, take a look at those pyramids and estimate how much stone was required and how much time to gather it. (And score extra points for good project management: Re got her husband to come in and help mine some of the stone!)
Next is Jackshadow's "Treeo." Jack leveled about a continent's worth of birch trees to construct these giant sculptures of...birch trees! According to Polo, Jack also set a new world record for most lethal plummets while building a single structure. This is why you leave your good armor at home when building something large, of course.
Our resident 8-bit artist, HollyInGrd6, built another great piece of throwback art with the theme from Reading Rainbow! (Suggestion: go tour this one while listening to the Big 80's on Sirius/XM channel 8.) Holly took advantage of the wide variety of shaded glass available now in MC, which required gathering a few tons of sand and all the materials needed to create dyes. It's even better viewed on the server, as you can get up close and see the glass.
Stufak's Throne totally cracked me up when I realized what he was building. The giant man blends in so well to the surrounding mountain that I probably stared at it for twenty seconds or so before actually seeing him. I'm tempted to have a future contest where contestants have to build something that the recumbent titan is staring at.
And finally, we have Anneka's "How It Got There." We need to implement a Best Use of Minecraft Gravity Rules award for this one. I watched her building the Stonehenge replica and helped chase away some skeletons riding skeleton horses. I had no idea at the time that there was going to be more than the henge in the final product. And for a little added creativity -- if you expand the picture and look very closely you can just see the heads of the skeleton horses who are apparently piloting the ship. :)