I'd never seen an insect like this before-- not in person, anyway. That's the kind of thing I normally shudder at when it appears on Animal Planet. I'm not a huge fan of insects, but this little dude wasn't trying to hurt anyone. He was on a mission, and he was quite intent on completing it. He went completely still every time a person walked by him, but he never seemed to become hostile or agitated. He just went on his merry way.
I watched him for about half of my lunch break.
At one point he reached the edge of the shade. He wiggled out onto the brightly lit pavement, then immediately turned around and went right back into the shade. Like almost everybody else today, he felt that hot Alabama sun and said "NOPE."
My large insect friend didn't seem interested in climbing anything while I was watching him, but after I went back inside, I could see him climbing up the rocket model.
My dad and I did a little research after I got home from work to try to classify the insect, and we concluded that it was a Giant Stag Beetle. We used this website. I'm definitely not a scientist, though, so if anyone out there has a different opinion, I'd love to see it.