I was driving through the desolate, super smelly Salton Sea in California last year, and passed by an insanely yellow building with yes, bananas all over it. Random? You bet. Turns out the International Banana Museum is on a dirt road in an old resort town that has been partialy abandoned since the 1970s. So yes, of course I went inside and got a snow cone and learned more than I cared to know about bananas.
If you like traveling to weird places (and enjoy random road trips), you’ll eventually run into an oddly specific (and kind of scary) museum at least once. Here’s 15 other super strange, but cool museums throughout the world you should also accidently go to. No judging here, we promise.
Sulabh International Museum Of Toilets
New Delhi, sulabhtoiletmuseum.org
You guessed it — this is a museum dedicated entirely to the history of toilets and bathroom hygiene. The exhibit is of course displayed chronologically, so you can see the development of the toilet system over the last five thousand years. Hey, to each its own.
The Sex Museum
I’m not that surprised Amsterdam has a sex museum considering it houses the Red Light District. So why not educate yourself while you’re there? It’s more or less just a giant collection of campy pictures, recordings, objects and paintings under the same roof. But hey, if you have some to kill…
The Mütter Museum
Time to get a little weird. The Mütter Museum in Philly is home to a collection of medical oddities, a ton of human skulls, antique medical equipment and just creepy shit in general. Oh, and there’s a lot of “objects” in containers with “fluid.” By objects, I mean various parts of the human body that have cysts and tumors on them from the early nineteenth century.
The UFO Museum
Known for supposed UFO sightings and alien weirdness, Roswell would of course host a UFO Museum. It might be a tourist trap (okay, it very much is) but what the hell else are you going to do if you find yourself in Roswell?! And you’ll be somewhat entertained by the funny alien autopsy setups and various newspaper clippings hanging on the wall.
The Neon Museum
Las Vegas, neonmuseum.org
There’s plenty of strange and weird in Vegas, but The Neon Museum is actually more interesting than weird. Dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Vegas signs, the museum is an intense neon bone yard of cool. Design nerds, take note of this attraction if you’re ever in Sin City.
Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments
Another museum in Amsterdam that will raise a few eyebrows. If you’re into torture techniques dating back to medieval times, then you’ll really enjoy this museum. Or maybe you’re just kinky? I don’t know, like I said before, not passing judgment on which one of these museums fits your interests.
Siriraj Medical Museum (AKA The Museum of Death)
The Museum of Death in Bangkok is real, and it’s terrifying. The museum has some of the freakiest oddities you could ever find. Even though the nickname might throw you off, medical students and doctors regularly use the museum as a valuable source for their work. From preserved fetuses to conjoined twins, I wouldn’t go in here if you can’t even get through one episode of American Horror Story.
Icelandic Phallogical Museum
I’m going to try to not make too many penis puns. There is a museum in Iceland that is dedicated to all things penile. That’s right, it houses more than 200 penises and uh, parts of penises belonging to both land and sea mammals in Iceland. Because nothing says “vacation” like browing through a penis museum.
St Petersburg, kunstkamera.ru
I feel like most things in Russia are borderline terrifying, so it makes sense that the very first museum in the country is all about dispelling myths of monsters and sorcery with scary AF stuff. Seriously. Peter the Great established the museum and it was completed in 1727, and it’s famous for its collection of two-headed mutant things, deformed animals, odd body parts and other monstrosities with the aim of educating Russians who are notoriously superstitious. I know, I don’t get it either.
International Cryptozoology Museum
There is apparently a science for studying animals that may or may not exist, and there’s also a museum dedicated to it. Learn more about Bigfoot, sea serpents and other “hidden animals” at the world’s only Cryptozoology Museum in Portland. It might just make you a believer.
Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum
Technically I’ve been studying the art of ramen noodles since freshman year of college, but I guess there’s more to learn at Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Resort in Japan. There are apparently interactive classes and exhibits that have everything from tasting rooms to learning about the birth of chicken ramen.
Cancun Underwater Museum
Now that we’ve covered a bunch of museums dedicated to dead things, let’s switch to a fun museum. You’ll have to grab some snorkeling and scuba diving gear to see this museum in Cancun, considering it’s completely underwater. The museum features sculptures and other works of art under the ocean, using the natural underwater environment in its work.
Le Musée des Vampires
Les Lilas, artclips.free.fr
Okay, back to scary stuff now. By appointment only, you can visit a small, private museum in France dedicated to vampires and the study of their place in modern culture. Jacques Sirgent, an English teacher and self-proclaimed ‘vampirologist,’ runs the museum and has stocked it with all kinds of vampire trinkets. Something about it being appointment only makes it more intriguing.
Museum of Bad Art
The name kind of gives it away. If you want to feel better about your art skills (or lack there of) this is a good museum to visit in Massachusetts. The aim of the museum is “to celebrate the labor of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum.” I think that sums it up rather perfectly if you ask me.
The Lunchbox Museum
This man is adorable, I’m sorry. I will go to this museum and learn about the history of lunchboxes in Columbia, Georgia just so I can hang out with Allen, the museum’s curator. With over 2,000 pieces in the museum, there’s basically every vintage lunchbox you could ever want to see. Allen, let’s hang.