The Weirdest Museums in the World

alex atkins bookshelf triviaJames Halperin, a professional rare coin dealer and the founder of Heritage Auctions, the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer, believes collecting is a basic human instinct that has been intensified by centuries of natural selection: “Those of our ancient ancestors who managed to accumulate scare objects may have been more prone to survive long enough to bear offspring.” That is to say, acquisition of rare items led to wealth that allowed someone to have and care for more children. In short, it is one of humanity’s innate idiosyncrasies or compulsions to collect shit. And this is where museums — particularly museums of weird or offbeat collections — come in: they validate the collection and bestow some level of honor (genius, eccentric, or madman?) on the collector or collectors. In some respects, it is high culture hoarding — and it attracts those with enough curiosity and the willingness to fork over the sometimes pricey admissions to peer into the rarefied collector’s world. For example, you can visit the Iceland Phallological Museum that has the world’s largest collection of pricks, second only to the U.S. Congress. Imagine what items are for sale at the gift shop — Sigmund Freud would have a field day. Or you can visit the entertaining (or creepy, depending on your experience) Clown Hall of Fame and Research that has the world’s largest collection of clowns, second only to the U.S. Congress and the White House. Without further ado, here are some of the weirdest or most offbeat museums in the world. Don’t delay — plan your trip today!

Tap Water Museum – Beijing, China

Dog Collar Museum – Kent, England

British Lawnmower Museum – Merseyside, England)

The Bread Museum – Ulm Germany

Garden Gnome Museum –  Grafenroda, Germany

Platinarium (bodies, sans skin, that have been preserved in creative positions) – Guben, Germany

Avanos Hair Museum – Avanos, Turkey

Iceland Phallological Museum (penises and phallic symbol) – Reykjavik, Iceland

Mummy Museum – Guanajuato, Mexico

Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum – Ikeda-shi, Japan

Siriraj Medical Museum (museum of Death) – Bangkok; Thailand

Sulabh International Museum of Toilets – New Delhi, India

The Kunstkamera (contains collection of human fetuses with grotesque mutations) – St. Petersburg, Russia

Torture Museum – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Museum of Bad Art – Dedham, Massachusetts

Kansas Barbed Wire Museum – La Crosse, Kansas

Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum – Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center – Baraboo, Wisconsin

Museum of Sex – New York City, New York

Vent Haven Museum – Fort Mitchell, Kentucky

International Cryptozoology Museum (life size art sculptures of famous monsters) – Portland, Maine

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Read related posts: Why Do People Collect Things?
Words for Collectors
Words for Collectors 2
Classification of Book Collectors
Why Do We Collect Things?

For further reading: Offbeat Museums: A Guided Tour of America’s Weirdest and Wackiest Museums by Saul Rubin

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