When you travel to a new place, it’s always good to check out some of the local museums. And when you’ve had your fill of art, science, and history, it’s also good to check out some of the lesser known museums – places that are full of oddities, peculiarities, and downright weirdness.
Below are 20 of the world’s weirdest and wackiest museums, compiled for your wide-eyed, slack-jawed viewing pleasure. If a trip around the globe isn’t in the cards for you any time soon, you can check out this list and pretend you’re on a wonderfully weird world tour. Something tells us that #12 is a lot of fun.
#1. The Icelandic Phallological Museum, Iceland
The Icelandic Phallological Museum contains a huge collection of phallic specimens from many different types of mammals (including humans). It’s the only museum of its kind in the entire world.
#2. Museum of Bad Art, Massachusetts, USA
At this museum more than 600 pieces of art that’s considered “bad” has a place to be celebrated. The museum is in a basement in Dedham, Massachusetts, and yes: All the art is really bad.,
#3. The Dog Collar Museum, England
There is dog paraphernalia that dates back more than 100 years in this museum, and inside you can see the history of canine accessories. This place is perfect for people who always wondered what a medieval dog collar may have looked like.
#4. British Lawnmower Museum, England
From royal lawnmowers belonging to Prince Charles and Princess Diana, to the world’s most expensive lawnmowers, this museum is, well, full of lawnmowers. If you go, let us know if you see a John Deere inside.
#5. Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum, Tennessee, USA
A trained anthropologist, Andrea Ludden is writing a definitive study on salt and pepper shakers. She displays her personal collection more than 22,000 sets of salt and pepper shakers in a building that was specially appointed just for them.
#6. The Mütter Museum, Philadelphia, USA
The Mütter Museum is a medical museum containing a collection of medical oddities. Here, you can see parts of Albert Einstein’s brain, shrunken heads, and plenty of other strange and unusual artifacts.
#7. National Mustard Museum, Wisconsin, USA
There’s a weird story associated with this one – and it’s weirder than having an entire museum dedicated to mustard. According to one website, “Barry Levenson founded the museum after his favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, lost the World Series in 1986. Apparently this shook Levenson to the core, as he then sought out the meaning of life in a supermarket, heard the mustard talk to him (“If you collect us, they will come”). In 1992 he left his job with the State of Wisconsin and opened what is now “one of Wisconsin’s most popular attractions.”
The museum has more than 5,624 mustards from all 50 states and more than 70 countries. Naturally, it also has a mustard vending machine.
#8. Museum of the Weird, Texas, USA
This museum showcases pranks and urban legends, and all of the content inside is totally, well, weird.
#9. Cancun Underwater Museum, Cancun, Mexico
You can see this museum under the water, either via scuba or snorkel. The sculptures here are made of ph-neutral clay, which means that marine life can thrive on their surfaces.
#10. Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
Created by artists Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic, the exhibits at this museum contain artifacts from many relationships that have crashed and burned. They take donations, so feel free to send your ex’s stuff.
#11. International UFO Museum and Research Center, New Mexico, USA
This museum outlines the events surrounding the extraterrestrial crash in July 1947, and the attempts by the government to cover it all up.
#12. Condom Museum, Thailand
Thailand is one of the world’s largest producers of condoms, so it seems natural that they’d have a museum dedicated to them. The museum has condoms from every era, along with a testing era to test their strength and durability.
#13. The Museum of Jurassic Technology, California, USA
The Museum of Jurassic Technology is a museum that presents a ton of info and exhibits to visitors, then allows them space to decide what’s true and what’s not. Visiting here would definitely start some conversations.
#14. The Mini Bottle Gallery, Norway
Love miniatures? You’re going to love this. In this museum, there are tiny bottles filled with every small object imaginable. Seems like a legit idea for a museum, right?
#15. Sulabh International Toilet Museum, India
This is a museum with a message: A call for sanitation improvements in third world countries. There are also hundreds of toilets on display.
#16. Le Musée des Vampires, France
The Le Musée des Vampires, is a study of vampires’ place in our culture throughout history and today. There are also autographs of every actor who’s ever starred as Dracula, a mummified cat from Paris’ famous Père Lachaise Cemetery, and a vampire painting by famous French murderer Nicolas Claux. This isn’t Twilight, but it sure is cool.
#17. The Sex Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Probably best for adults only, this raunchy museum is filled with paintings, photos, sculptures and other memorabilia from Greek and Roman gods to historic figures. There is also plenty of modern day deviance on display.
#18. International Spy Museum, Washington DC, USA
The International Spy Museum is the only museum in the world devoted to espionage. There hands-on and interactive exhibits allow visitors to learn the craft of spying, and this museum is a whole lot of fun.
#19. Circus World Museum, Baraboo, Wisconsin, USA
The only thing better than going to the circus is going to the museum all about the circus. This Wisconsin spot offers insight into circus history, relics and artifacts from circuses past, plus a huge big top to explore.
#20. The Garbage Museum, Connecticut, USA
The Garbage Museum’s Trash-o-saurus is a dinosaur made from a ton of trash—the estimated amount that the average person generates each year. The museum also has a huge compost pile, and a detailed exhibit on the ins and outs of processing garbage.