While most museums are our gateway to a different time and place, evoking a sense of wonder and feeding our inquisitiveness at the same time, some of them can throw you completely off the ground. With startling collections on quirky subjects, these museums are both bewildering and amusing, sometimes presenting the mundane in a totally new light.
If the odd and eccentric interest you, then here are some museums you definitely should not miss.
- Museum of Witchcraft, Corwall
Cornwall is not all tea, scones, pasties and some more tea on the beach. All this naïve façade hides the fact that one of the most popular museums here is the Museum of Witchcraft at Boscastle. Set up by a former undercover MI6 agent, the museum displays Wiccan artifacts, stangs and black magic tools with interesting back stories.
- Paris Sewers Museum, Paris
A disgusting place to be, this museum is dedicated to the stinky underbelly of the beautiful City of Romance. Paris developed its first sewage system around 1200 A.D. by decree of King Philippe Auguste. 800 years of development later, spanning almost 1500 miles, the sewers form an underground network of their own, shadowing the roads above them.
- Meguro Parasitological Museum, Tokyo
Who would think of dedicating a museum to foul, slimy parasites? Established by a local doctor for educational purposes (and not to gross everyone out, which is what you may be thinking), the museum has over 45000 grisly specimens. The centre of attraction is a 30 ft tapeworm – the longest in the world, pulled out of an unsuspecting sushi eater. Your worst Halloween nightmare just came true!
- The Museum of Bad Art, Boston
The MoBA is dedicated to all the art that is “too bad to be ignored”. Spectacularly awful paintings “by artists barely in control of the brush” make you wonder what art is really all about. Sunday on the Pot with George is a masterpiece in itself and probably the “best” of the lot, while Lucy in the Field with Flowers has absolutely nothing in common with the delightful Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
- Dog Collar Museum, Leeds
Cat lovers can suck it, dog lovers win hands down with a museum dedicated to their best friends’ collars. Documenting the history of canine accessories spanning five centuries since medieval times, the 100 collars on display are some of the fanciest you will find anywhere. The collection ranges from the 15th – 17th century thick cuffs with spikes designed to protect hunting dogs from predators to the decorative 18th century collars.
- Iceland Phallological Museum, Iceland
The largest display of penises in the world is in Iceland. Not just humans but 93 species of animals, from the hamster to the blue whale. They are all over the museum, which also displays lampshades made from bull testicles.
- Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, New Delhi
The museums has loos from all over the world, displaying their development over centuries from 1145 AD to the modern day. The highlight is a replica of the multi-functional throne of King Louis XIV, which he used during open court sessions. Talk about boundaries today!
- Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb
A unique, touching museum, it is dedicated to failed relationships and their ruins. Browsing the eclectic collection can be an emotional roller coaster if you can relate to the exhibits on display.
- International Spy Museum, Washington, D.C.
A tribute to 007 and all international spies out there, it traces espionage in history right from biblical times and has some cool gadgets on display.
- International UFO Museum and Research Center, New Mexico
The motto of the museum is “The Truth is Here”. Well, you get to see for yourself. The existence of UFOs is a thought-provoking idea, and this museum, which opened in 1992, leaves you intrigued. The museum displays exhibits relating to the alleged 1947 Rosswell incident, as well as information on abductions, sightings, crop circles and Area 51. The museum also helps host an annual Roswell UFO Festival in the first week of July.