Monday, March 10, 2008

Unusual Museums To See

Hey, fellow globetrotters! I love visiting the art museums of different cities I see around the world, but sometimes we need something a little different, right? :) 

So, for my fellow travelers here are 9 museums that are a little more off the beaten path:

1. The Meguro Parasitological Museum: Tokyo, Japan. Wow. 45,000+ creepy-crawlers who live in, on and with other organisms. From 27 foot-long tapeworms to images of men with elephantisis in um... awkward body parts, and more lice, mites, mosquitoes and miscellaneous critters than you can shake a stick at.

If you want to read up ahead of time, check out this archived Mentlal Floss article at Neatorama.Com on 6 horrifying parasites.

2. The Spam Museum: Up here in Austin, Minnesota, you can visit a museum dedicated entirely to Spam. 16,500 square feet dedicated to one of the strangest and most enduring meat products of the 20th century. With lots of recipes and trivia galore, who could ask for anything more?

3. The Museum of Bad Art: Dedham, Massachusetts gives the middle finger to Picassos and Mondrians here!  This isn't just mediocre art, but visual atrocities with a 'special quality that sets them apart in one way or another from the merely incompetent.' 

The exhibits are constantly rotating, but wonders like 'Pablo Presley' and 'Sunday On The Pot With George' or 'Jerez The Clown.' 

There are some who might not deserve to be immortalized here, but there are many pieces who make more than a good case for themselves. Judge for yourself.

4. The Songkran Niyomsane Museum of Forensic Medicine: Bangkok, Thailand. When you're tired of Golden Buddhas and the Emerald Palace or sidetrips to the other tourist traps, you can stop here, especially if you're interested in seeing where Thai CSI studies.

The museum is a little creepy to some visitors, but the good doctor pioneered forensics in Thailand with some pretty vivid exhibits.

It's not for the squeamish, but you can see everything from the preserved corpse of a Chinese cannibal to the body of the good Dr. Songkran himself.

5. The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets: If you're in New Delhi, India, you can see the brainchild of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, who was a pioneer of Indian sanitation.

From electric chamber pots to French commodes disguised as bookcases, you can see over 4,500 amazing years of the lavatory!

Which leads us strangely back to Texas to:

6. The Toilet Seat Art Museum  I'm pretty sure some of the entries here in Alamo Heights, Texas will eventually end up at the MOBA but if you've ever wanted to see 700 'artistically' decorated toilet seat covers, here's your chance.

Ok. I can't even begin to imagine how much therapy these poor kids needed after their teacher took them on a field trip here. But let's move on.

7. The Icelandic Phallological Museum: I have no idea how Reykjavik, Iceland came to be the home to this shrine to the male member, but they've gathered over 150 specimens of masculine pride and preserved testicles representing species from polar bears to whales.

No humans, as of yet, although they have received a legally certified offer from a dude who has promised his privates to them upon his demise. There's even been a wedding here.

8. Museo De Las Momias: Taking a stop through Mexico and tired of Senor Frog and tequila? Make your way over to Guanajuato and see the famous Public Museum of Mummified Citizens with over 100 preserved bodies on display.

This museum exists because of a unique law in this part of Mexico: Graves in the local cemetery have to be rented every five years, unless you buy the grave with a HUGE lump sum. No rent, your body gets exhumed and disposed of to make way for new arrivals. Or you might find yourself here.

If you're stuck in Europe, you can make a trip to the Catacomb dei Cappuccini in Palermo, Italy, instead.

A little less gruesome, we can go to:

9. The Hair Museum: Who needs to see the Hagia Sophia when you can make a stop to the city of Avanos, Turkey and see the vision of Turkish potter Galip Korukcu, who thought starting the Hair Museum would help promote his ceramics workshops.

Yeah, natural connection.

Anyway, this master of public relations has amassed an astonishing collection of over 16,000 samples from around the world of women's hair, carefully hung in the cave and it's now a part of the Guiness Book of World Records. And if you want, you can even donate.

The man:

His vision:


And there you have it! What unusual museums have YOU found in your travels?


Anonymous said...

The parasitology museum in Japan sounds like something I'd really get into. Another "weird" one is the Mutter Museum in Philly. I've heard so much about it, but I've never been there.

Anonymous said...

The Mutter Museum in Philly is supposed to have lots of odd a megacolon. i think I've love the parasitology museum in Japan.