Weirdest exhibitions and museums
If the word “museum” conjures up images of stuffy corridors full of highfalutin culture, you’ll be happy to learn that plenty of the world’s museums are, in fact, wonderfully weird tributes to highly specific topics and bizarre artifacts.
So, to celebrate International Museum Day, we present 10 museums around the world that are anything but mundane.
1. Icelandic Phallological Museum
Located in Reykjavik, Iceland
You’ve guessed it. A museum all about all things penile. 215 penises and penile parts belonging to many of the land and sea mammals in Iceland. Be sure not to visit the special section dedicated to the mighty whale penises. Some of these things are ridiculously large.
2. Bad Art Museum
Brookline and Somerville, Massachusetts, USA
Usually known as MOBA this museum is “the world’s only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms.” Why waste your time at art museums looking at great , awesome art, when you can see junk? As you amble around MOBA, you will feel better about your own art. The works are from people who clearly should retire as ‘artists’ and also famous artists where their plans for the artwork haven’t quite gone as planned.
3. Sulabh International Museum Of Toilets
New Delhi, India
Are you curious about the entire evolution of toilets throughout human history? Then go to India to visit this museum, which follows the fascinating history of the urinal for the past 4,500 years. From simple chamber pots to elaborate china Victorian toilet seats, you’ll see it all. Including a bookcase that also doubles as a toilet. It is also ironic, seeing as Indias sewage and plumbing system can at best be described as primitive.
4. The Avanos Hair Museum
Want a weirder option than toilets, penises and bad art? Look no further than this hair museum created by potter Chez Galip, in Turkey. It features a large collection of hair gathered from more than 16,000 women, and if that doesn’t sound creepy enough for you: it’s actually located in a cave!
5. The Broken Relationships Museum in Croatia
This museum actually evolved “from a traveling exhibition revolving around the concept of failed relationships and their ruins,” Visitors are encouraged to donate artifacts from their own damaged and broken relations. You will see obvious artifacts — rings, Valentine’s Day gifts and clothes — but you’ll also spot some stranger remnants like the odd sex toy or glamourous lingerie.
6. Instant Ramen Museum of Japan
Millions of college students have Momofuku Ando, the inventor and creator of Cup Noodles, to thank for the cheap sustinence meal that kept them going when at uni. The museum, dedicated to Ando and his invention , even includes a workshop where you can make your own noodles.
7. International Cryptozoology Museum
Portland, Maine, USA
Cryptozoology is literally “the study of hidden animals” and involves the search for animals who may or may not exist, like the Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot or the Yeti. The collection includes specimens and artifacts supposedly related to these mythical beasts. From fecal matter, to amazing pictures and testiminials and stories, you may end up believing the hype!
8. Parasitological Museum of Meguro
Now you can Learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about tapeworms, head lice and plenty of other parasites you’ve probably never heard of. The collection has over 300 specimens, including a 30-foot tapeworm. This is not recommended for anyone of a squeamish nature.
9. Medieval Torture Instruments Museum
A chilling museum showcasing well over 100 torture devices. Some of these you will be able to figure out while some will have you wondering just how pain was inflicted. Once you have worked that out you can decide which the most barbaric of these tools is!! A fun day out for all the family.
10. The Kansas Barbed Wire Museum
La Crosse, Kansas, USA
Would you believe there is indeed a museum dedicated to barbed wire with well over 2,400 varieties. This explores the role barbed wire played in the actual settlement of the United States.A strange concept and and even stranger place. Do you like barbed wire and secure fencing? If so this is the exhibition for you!
and now for …the…
The World’s largest diamond, outshone by a wc (loo)
It wasn’t even placing the famous Koh-I-Noor diamond on display that generated the buzz at London’s Great Exhibition of 1851 – it was actually the first ever public toilets that got peoples pulses racing. before that you had to make your own arrangements while out and about. Well worth remembering before you consume that 3rd cup of coffee!
When Leipzig lost out to Hanover
The world’s largest exhibition halls which are at Hannover Messe in fact should not have been in Hanover at all. The first choice was Leipzig, Germany’s traditional fairground – but in 1947 that was actually in the Soviet occupied zone – so Hanover’s disused aircraft hangers were made to fill the vacancy and were put into service.
The Eiffel tower – best view in Paris
The Eiffel Tower may have been at the centre of the 1880 world’s fair, but it wasn’t universally loved by everyone at that time. Guy de Maupassant so disliked it he by all accounts often ate his lunch on the second floor. Why was this you ask? it was the only place in Paris with no view of the Eiffel Tower..
George Ferris reinvents the wheel and wins!
An annual Fair and Entertainment Chicago Exhibition was losing money badly, very badly, until a local businessman reinvented the wheel. it could however carry 2,160 people at a time and was actually 264-foot-tall. What was this mans name you ask? George Washington Gale Ferris!
Time for a sit down
And later in the day, when your feet are tired and you’ve had a long day walking the exhibition halls, spare a thought for Arulanantham Suresh Joachim. This legendary man holds the record for standing up. How long did he manage you ask? A mere 76 hours 40 minutes in Vihara Maha Devi Park Open Air Stadium, Sri Lanka. pretty impressive I’m sure you will agree! Find out more about some cool exhibitions in London here. You won’t have to stand up for 76 hours thats for sure as there’s always in house refreshments and cafes!