- In cities from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Zagreb, Croatia, you can find unique museums.
- Osaka, Japan, boasts a museum dedicated to instant ramen where you can create your own cup of noodles.
- In Cancún, Mexico, there’s an underwater museum that can only be accessed via glass boat tours or scuba diving.
Museums are meant to display artifacts and other curiosities for members of the public to observe and enjoy. But not all museums focus on your typical artwork and sculptures. From penises to locks of hair, there really are museums dedicated to every topic imaginable. And when it comes to museums, it could be safe to say there’s an exhibit for everyone.
Here are 10 of the most unusual museums you can visit around the world.
Human skulls and old-fashioned medical instruments are on display at Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum.
Housed at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, one of the oldest nonprofit medical organisations in the US, the Mütter Museum showcases medical history in all of its fascinatingly gruesome glory.
The museum’s permanent collections, displayed in 19th-century-style cabinets, encompass everything from 139 human skulls to segments of Albert Einstein’s brain. You’ll also get a peek at models and medical instruments from days past.
Croatia’s Museum of Broken Relationships catalogues our collective heartbreak.
Located in Zagreb, Croatia, the Museum of Broken Relationships, which started as a travelling collection, catalogues our collective heartbreak through an assortment of objects donated by lovelorn folks from around the world. The eclectic items on display range from a plush Snoopy to a kitchen appliance labelled the “toaster of vindication.”
A Los Angeles outpost opened in 2016, but it’s currently closed until further notice as the curators look for a new location.
The Iceland Phallological Museum in Reykjavik is all about penises.
The Iceland Phallological Museum proves that nothing is too outlandish to warrant public exhibition – not even private parts. Boasting a collection of more than 215 penises and penile parts from all manner of sea and land mammals (including one human acquisition), this unusual museum is all about penises.
There’s an underwater museum in Cancún, Mexico.
Focusing on the intersection of art and environmentalism, Cancún’s Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA) features over 500 underwater sculptures crafted from materials that foster the growth of coral. The installations, a mix of life-sized and monumental pieces, span an area of about 4,521 square feet.
You can experience MUSA by taking a glass-bottom boat tour, scuba diving, or snorkelling.
Pseudoscience takes center stage at the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.
The International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine, takes the eponymous branch of pseudoscience, the study of hidden or unknown animals, seriously. Whether you believe in Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and their ilk or just want to learn more about these legendary creatures, this is the museum for you.
There’s plenty to see at Japan’s instant ramen museum.
There’s a whole museum dedicated to this affordable meal in Osaka, Japan. At the Cupnoodles Museum, you can learn about the “father of instant ramen,” Momofuku Ando, craft a custom-made container of noodles, and walk through a tunnel decked out with 800 ramen packages.
The Dog Collar Museum in Kent, England, commemorates canine neckwear.
Canine neckwear is the focus of the Dog Collar Museum in Kent, England. Although a historic collar collection would be intriguing in its own right, this museum is even more notable because it’s situated in a 12th-century castle.
Among the rare items on display are a 15th-century collar that a mastiff wore as protection against bears and wolves and intricate gilt collars from the Baroque period.
Turkey’s Avanos Hair Museum puts luscious locks on display.
Avanos, Turkey, may be better known for its ceramics. But thanks to one of the town’s pottery centres, Avanos is also home to a museum of sorts dedicated to human hair. The museum’s origins can be traced to a potter named Chez Galip, who received strands of hair from a friend when she moved away. After displaying the sample in his shop, female customers began leaving their own hair cuttings.
Between the late ’70s and the present, the museum has amassed about 16,000 contributions. Each sample is accompanied by a description of who donated it and visitors are encouraged to leave pieces of their own hair.
Micropia is a Dutch museum dedicated to microbes.
Micropia, a museum in Amsterdam that centres on microbes, aims to educate the public about the world’s smallest organisms. It’s located inside Natura Artis Magistra, the oldest zoo in the Netherlands.
There’s a museum dedicated to toilet seat art in Texas.
Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, gives a new meaning to potty talk. Smith, a retired master plumber, started his collection after he affixed mounted deer antlers to a toilet seat when he returned from a hunting trip. His seats, which amount to more than 1,400, range from whimsical (Troll dolls, Mardi Gras beads) to historical (one notable addition came from the aeroplane that carried the body of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ second husband).
Last fall, Smith, who is 97, sold the collection. In February 2019, it will move from San Antonio to a Dallas suburb.
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