A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific. However, there are some museums in the world that are so bizarre and have such unusual things that are worth visiting just for sheer novelty alone. No matter how bizarre, offbeat or outrageous the subject may be, there’s probably a weird museum of unusual things dedicated to it.
These weird museums expose our darkest preoccupations, most brilliant ideas, and the limitless creativity of the human mind. Whether it is their odd architecture, strange subject matter, or the fact that they are totally underwater, we present 10 museums around the world that will satisfy your strangest curiosities.
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10. Museo Subacuático de Arte – Cancún, Mexico
In 2009 a monumental underwater contemporary museum of art called MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) was formed in the waters surrounding Cancun, Isla Mujeres, and Punta Nizuc.
This one-of-a-kind aquatic museum features more than 500 life-size sculptures in the waters of Cancún and Isla Mujeres. The artificial reefs are submerged at depths of 4m and 8m, making them ideal for snorkelers and first-time divers.
The underwater museum is a creation of British-born sculptor Jason Taylor. Each of the life-size sculptures is made of pH-neutral clay to promote marine growth.
9. Museo Atlántico – Lanzarote, Spain
Another one of Taylor creation, this amazing Museo Atlantico, Europe’s first underwater museum that opened to the public in 2017. It consists of more than 300 works which can be explored by divers or seen from glass-bottomed boats.
According to its sculptor, the purpose of the Museo Atlantico is to deliver a strong message on the importance of the ocean and our reliance on it to survive; from oxygen and nutrition to climate regulation.
8. International Banana Museum – Mecca, California, US
Home to some 20,000 banana-themed items, this wacky museum could drive you ape-crazy. This museum is loaded with anything and everything that’s got to do with the fruit.
7. Museum of Death – Los Angeles, US
The famous Museum of Death was founded in 1995 to fill the void in death education in the USA. With locations in Los Angeles and New Orleans, the Museum of Death is a self-guided tour lasting approximately an hour, but those who can stomach it may stay as long as they’d like.
The museum founders have collected numerous serial killers artwork and memorabilia, and also include the original crime scene photos, body bag, and replicas of full-size execution devices.
6. National Museum of Funeral History – Houston, Texas, US
The National Museum of Funeral History contains a collection of artifacts and relics that aim to educate the public and preserve the heritage of death care. The 35,000-square-foot museum opened in 1992.
With the largest collection of funereal artifacts in the country, one can discover the mourning rituals of ancient civilizations, and see authentic historical items used in the funerals of U.S. Presidents and Popes.
Permanent exhibits related to American presidential burials include a bill from George Washington’s funeral and a full-scale recreation of Abraham Lincoln in repose, complete with an actual lock of hair.
5. Sulabh International Museum of Toilets – New Delhi, India
It’s only fitting that after having a heavy meal, you visit this spot. Jokes aside, The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets in Delhi is a museum which is dedicated to the global history of sanitation and toilets. This Museum of Toilets traces the history of the toilet for the past 4500 years of the most popular seat in the house.
4. Sex Museum – Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Sex Museum or the Venus temple in Dutch is a sex museum located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The museum opened in 1985 and had over 675,000 visitors in 2017, making it one of the most visited museums in the Netherlands.
Only suitable for people over 16, this museum is filled with paintings, photos, sculptures and other memorabilia that celebrate the history of sex. Once you get inside, you realize that the Sex Museum tries to combine their rich collection of artifacts with the elements of the attraction park.
3. Hair Museum of Avanos – Cappadocia, Turkey
Regarded as one of the weirdest museums in the world, the Hair Museum of Avanos, in Cappadocia, is definitely a must-see if you’re into bizarre tourist spots.
The story goes that the museum was started over 30 years ago when local potter Chez Galip’s (pictured) asked a departing friend to leave him something to remember her by, the woman cut a piece of her hair and gave it to the potter, and the rest is history.
Since then, the women who visited his place and heard the story gave him a piece of their hair and their complete address. Throughout the years, he has amassed an impressive collection of over 16,000 differently colored locks of hair, from women all around the world.
2. Salem Witch Museum – Salem, Massachusetts, US
The Salem Witch museums present the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, one of the most important and tragic events in American history. Visitors experience the drama of that dark time though thirteen life-size stage sets, figures, lighting and a stirring narration as they are witness to the web of lies and intrigue of the Salem Witch Hunt.
1. International Cryptozoology Museum – Portland, Maine, US
The International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine offers visitors a chance to suspend disbelief and consider a trove of evidence for and against the world’s cryptids, including Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and Yeti.
Owner Loren Coleman (pictured) opened the museum out of the first floor of his home about 10 years ago, but has since moved to its current location, where up to 10,000 visitors flock each year to examine evidence of Bigfoot and other cryptids – the general term for animals whose existences has yet to be substantiated.