Museums are known to be hubs of culture, art and history. They even reflect man’s continuous growth in science. There are more than 55,000 museums all around the world where people can be educated in different ways. The most visited museum is the Louvre in Paris getting around 9 million visitors per year. Now, while most museums showcase artistic and scientific development, there are museums that attract a different crowd. Here are 8 of the weirdest museums around the world that can make you either close your eyes or raise your eyebrow. Either way, a visit would be quite the experience.
1. Icelandic Phallological Museum in Reykjavik, Iceland
How would you react if your friend invites you to a trip to Iceland just to look at “gentleman’s parts”? The Icelandic Phallological Museum is the only museum in the world “to contain a collection of phallic specimens”. You can not consider it pornography as there are 276 exhibits from different species. If you’re curious about the male sex organ, this is the place to be. Get to see the 1.7-meter private parts of a sperm whale. If that made you feel inadequate, then check out the display from the tiniest hamster measuring only two millimeters. You will also see a lampshade made out of bull testicles and an “unusually big” penis bone from a Canadian walrus. The first ever human exhibit came from a 95-year-old Icelandic man back in 2011.
2. Sulabh International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi, India
Going to the toilet is quite a private matter for most people around the world. If you want to appreciate your office’s clean toilet, then head to the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets. You get to see the evolution of toilets throughout human history. From primitive relics and chamber pots to modern toilets and decorated Victorian toilets, there is definitely much to see in this museum. While humor plays a big part for this museum, the founder of it actually provides affordable toilets for thousands in India where a proper toilet is a social challenge similar to education and employment.
3. The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia
There is the unending question of where broken hearts go. If you’re thinking of traveling to mend a broken heart, then pay a visit to the Museum of Broken Relationships in Croatia. Considered as Europe’s most innovative museum for the Kenneth Hudson Award in 2011, the museum showcases personal objects left over from former lovers. Broken relationships may not sound weird or bizarre, but there are items in the museum to make you appreciate your breakup. Get to see the “divorce day” dwarf with a description narrating the end of their love. If you’re familiar with online romance, then you’ll understand why the letter “T” was donated. You can also find fluffy, pink handcuffs with a description “Atame” (Spanish for “tie me up”). Imagine what items you can contribute from your past relationships. That would definitely be weird.
4. Hair Museum in Avanos, Turkey
If a hair museum does not sound obscure to you, then imagine going through a normal-looking pottery shop and into a small, dark cave where hair are pinned to the ceiling. Each hair came from 16,000 women with a note attached. The museum was created by potter Chez Galip in the rural town of Avanos. It even carries the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of human hair. The museum started back in 1979 with a selection coming from different women who once visited the pottery shop. With pencils, papers, pins and scissors offered to visitors, you can actually leave locks of your hair and a message.
5. Meguro Parasitological Museum in Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is Japan’s sprawling capital but Meguro has something crawling in its quiet town. The Meguro Parasitological Museum is devoted to more than 45,000 parasite specimens. Going there will definitely have you squirming with the world’s longest tapeworm measuring 8.8 meters on display. Visitors even get to play with a rope of the same length to give them a real grasp of its dimensions. If you have a weak stomach, skip this museum and just grab yourself a good bowl of ramen.
6. Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Another hair-raising museum is located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It features more than a 100 torture devices that will have your imagination running. Torture is a morbid act but a major part of European history. The guillotine is the central artifact of the museum. This is definitely not for kids and the weak-hearted.
7. Museum of Death in Bangkok, Thailand
The Siriraj Medical Museum, nicknamed “The Museum of Death”, covers a huge collection of artifacts from the hospital’s 120 years of history. There are seven separate permanent exhibits in the entire museum: Anatomy, Congenital Disorders, Pathology, Forensic Pathology, Thai Traditional Medicine, Toxicology, and Parasitology. The bizarre collection features real-life physical deformities and strange cases of death, such as small babies who died from fatal abnormalities, photos of human bodies ruined by disasters, including murder, and mummified remains of convicted criminals. The main attraction is the criminal Si Quey put on display. Si Quey is known for murdering six children and consuming their hearts and livers.
8. International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine
Chances are you’ve heard of Bigfoot and mermaids but are not believers of such creatures. Enter the International Cryptozoology Museum that will show you specimens and artifacts related to such mythical, unverified creatures. Cryptozoology means “the study of hidden animals” and focuses on animals, including monsters, whose existence still needs verification. The museum features hair samples, native art, and even fecal matter to have visitors convert to a Bigfoot believer. You also get to see a full-size rubber Thunderbird, a replica of P.T. Barnum’s “FeeJee Mermaid”, and a fur-bearing trout. Loren Coleman, the museum’s founder and curator, considers the place as a “gateway science” to have children and adults interested in more conventional fields.