Who says museums are boring? From instruments of torture, toilets and parasites to whale penises and Albert Einstein’s brain, even barbed wire has been turned into a subject of interest. These weird and oddly specific museums certainly prove there’s something out there for everyone.
Embrace the strange at these ten bizarre museums from around the world; who knows, you may even learn a thing or two.
1. International Cryptozoology Museum
Are you ready to believe? If so, head on over to the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine. Focused on proving the existence of creatures, such as Bigfoot, Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster, the museum houses an array of hair samples, fecal matter and impressively bad wax models.
Where in the world: 11 Avon Street Portland, Maine 04101, United States
2. Icelandic Phallological Museum
Pretty much what it says on the tin, the phallological museum houses the world’s largest display of penises and penile parts belonging to almost all land and sea mammals found in Iceland. The highlight of the museum, of course, has to be the impressive whale penis exhibition.
Where in the world: Laugavegur 116, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland
3. The Mütter Museum
The Mütter Museum, which refers to itself as “disturbingly informative” boasts an impressive collection of medical anomalies, anatomical and pathological specimens, and bizarre medical instruments. The museum is also one of only two places in the world where you can see parts of Albert Einstein’s brain.
Where in the world: 19 S. 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, United States
4. Meguro Parasitological Museum
Yes you guessed it; this museum is all about the celebration of parasites. With over 300 varieties on display, the Meguro Parasitological Museum’s piece de resistance is a 30-foot tapeworm pulled out of an unsuspecting woman who had apparently picked it up eating sushi. Nice.
Where in the world: 4-1-1 Shimo-Meguro, Meguro, Tokyo
5. Avanos Hair Museum
Created by local artist, Chez Galip, in the rural Turkish town of Avanos, the Hair Museum features a vast collection of hair gathered from more than 16,000 women. Each specimen is tacked to the wall, and if that’s not bizarre enough, the museum is in a small, dark cave.
Where in the world: Avanos, 50500, Turkey
6. Sulabh International Museum Of Toilets
The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets explores the history of hygiene and sanitation in India. It traces the evolution of the toilet over the past 4,500 years, from the humble chamber pot right through to the Victorian “prince of toilets”, Thomas Crapper. If you have an interest in this subject, there is a toilet for everyone to enjoy.
Where in the world: Sulabh Bhawan, Mahavir Enclave, Palam, New Delhi, DL 110045
7. The Museum Of Bad Art
The Museum of Bad Art, or MOBA for short, bills itself as the “world’s only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms”. From clashing colours to artists who were barely in control of the brush, the general lack of talent will have all visitors smiling while taking a stroll through this unique gallery.
Where in the world: Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144, United States
8. The Kansas Barbed Wire Museum
We strongly recommend not touching any of the displays in this museum. If you have an interest in “devil’s rope”, or barbed wire to me and you, this Kansas museum is the place for you. Housing more than 2,400 varieties, the museum explores the role barbed wire played in the settlement of the USA.
Where in the world: 120 W. 1st Street La Crosse, Kansas, 67548, United States
9. Museum Of The Holy Souls In Purgatory
In the midst of a fire that destroyed the alter of the Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio church, a priest claimed he saw a figure burning and believed it to be a soul from purgatory. Thus the collection of the Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory began. The museum now hosts an array of scorched handprints on bibles, tables and clothing that are hailed as signs from souls trapped in fiery purgatory.
Where in the world: Lungotevere Prati, 12, 00193 Rome, Italy
10. Museum Of Medieval Torture Instruments
Fun for the whole family, Amsterdam’s Museum of Torture Instruments houses an impressive collection of over 100 grim devices. From the rack to the infamous skull cracker, this museum is a must-see if you want to peer into the history of human cruelty.
Where in the world: Damrak 33, 1012 LK, Amsterdam