You won’t find pieces by Michelangelo or Van Gogh here – but you will be rewarded with quirky collections of unique objects, strange artworks and fascinating stories… Embrace the weird and wonderful and peek inside eight of the world’s wildest museums.
Tasmania’s Pooseum has one mission: breaking the taboo of talking about poo. This quirky science museum is dedicated to all things defecation – so we hope you are not too squeamish when it comes to bodily functions. With 50 information panels, 40 videos and a Digestion Room, where visitors can learn about the digestive systems of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores, the Pooseum lifts the lid on a rather unusual topic.
Honouring the creator of the instant ramen noodle, Momofuku Ando, this one-of-a-kind museum is entirely dedicated to the ultra-affordable meal beloved by students around the world. Learn the secrets behind the process, create your own original Cup Noodles packaging, take a walk through a re-creation of the work shed where the first cup noodles were invented and snap a photo in front of the Instant Noodle Tunnel – a lineup of over 800 boxes of the most popular noodles.
Pet lovers rejoice: this quirky museum is dedicated entirely to canine accessories. Tucked inside the impressive Leeds Castle in Kent, the museum was set up in the 1970s by Gertrude Hunt in memory of her Irish historian husband John, and boasts a collection of over 130 rare and valuable collars and accessories. The most interesting pieces are the bulky, iron collars from the 15th century, covered in large spikes and designed to protect hunting dogs from wolves and bears, and the ornate gilt collars of the baroque period.
Welcome to the premier institution dedicated entirely to the male sex organ: the Iceland Phallological Museum. Founded by historian Sigurður Hjartarson, who started collecting specimens in 1974, this museum houses the world’s largest display of penises. The exhibition proudly showcases close to 300 animal genitals – ranging from tiny hamster parts to a two–metre blue whale penis – plus other phallic-shaped rarities, from lampshades to tree trunks. There are even four human specimens, kindly donated to the museums in recent years.
Here are two things about Vienna you might not know: it’s home to Europe’s second–largest cemetery and a museum entirely dedicated to funerals. This morbid museum displays a creepy collection of over 1,000 artefacts, all related to Viennese funeral traditions and mourning rituals. Elaborate ceremonial uniforms, football-shaped urns and ingenious items designed to help those accidentally buried alive… this museum has thought of it all – including a very eco-conscious reusable coffin, introduced by Emperor Joseph II in 1784 to save wood.
You will need to put on your diving gear to get to this museum, as the Underwater Museum of Art is a submerged exhibition in the clear waters of the National Marine Park in Cancun. Visitors can expect to find over 400 sculptures designed by international artists, installed on the ocean floor and made from a special marine-friendly material that will allow them to become part of the coral reef. Not ready to dive right in? Snorkelling and glass–bottom boat tours are also available.
Always wondered how ventriloquists make their dummies talk? You’ve come to the right place: the Vent Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky is the only museum in the world entirely dedicated to ventriloquism, its history and the art of dummy making. Founded by W.S. Berger, who spent over 40 years collecting artefacts, the museum boasts an impressive collection of over 900 dummies from the 19th, 20th and 21st century, as well as posters, recordings, playbills and photos all related to this fascinating art.
Opened in 1991, this is the world’s first museum dedicated to the preservation and display of hand fans. Located in a lovingly restored, heritage-listed house in London’s Greenwich, the museum showcases an extensive collection of fans and fan leaves from all over the world, celebrating the history of this unique object and its remarkable making process. Displaying 4,000 perfectly conserved examples dating from the 11th century to the present day, this museum truly is paradise for fans of – well – fans. The quirkiest thing you’ll see? A fan with a built-in ear trumpet from the early 1900s.
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