When we think of the world’s great museums, we tend to think of the Louvre, the Guggenheim or the Victoria and Albert. We do not immediately think of the Dog Collar Museum, the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum, the Museum of Broken Relationships or Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum. Yet scattered across the globe are museums dedicated to every conceivable subject, from bananas to Bigfoot, lawnmowers to leprechauns, teapots to tapeworms, mustard to moist towelettes, and pencils to penises. Many are serious collections housed in grand buildings, others are located in tiny premises and are open to visitors by appointment only, often the result of one person’s crazy lifetime obsession.
This book lists the world’s 100 weirdest museums in order of quirkiness, encompassing such delights as The Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall, a museum in Kentucky that houses 800 ventriloquists’ dolls, the Museum of Bad Art in Massachusetts, the Paris Sewer Museum, the French Fry Museum in Bruges, the Museum of Contraception and Abortion in Vienna, the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Tennessee, Japan’s Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum (quite possibly the world’s only museum devoted to instant noodles), and the Kunstkamera in St Petersburg, home to Peter the Great’s collection of oddities including deformed fetuses and the decapitated head of a love rival preserved in vinegar. After all, what holiday is complete until you have seen a 300-year-old decapitated human head in a jar?
Each entry will include address, contact and admission details, so the next time you are in Berlin there is no excuse for missing out on a visit to the Currywurst Museum, the world’s leading museum dedicated to sausages in hot ketchup.
- Constable & Robinson