1. The Garbage Museum, Stratford, Connecticut
If you are looking for an exhibition that is totally rubbish, then this might be for you. Central to their display is the Trash-o-saurus which is made from a ton of trash, signifying the amount the average person generates each year. To really demonstrate the recycling process, visitors are allowed to walk through a giant compost pile. If you have seen either of these displays and/or actually paid money to visit, please do get in touch.
2. Museum of burnt food, Massachusetts
Source: Burnt Food Museum
Another Massachusetts attraction, the Museum of Burnt Food can trace its humble beginnings to the late 1980s when Grammy-nominated harpist Deborah Henson-Conant started heating some hot apple cider. She got distracted by a rather lengthy phone call, and the dish was burned completely by the time she returned. Though not technically a museum they do celebrate all ‘culinary disasters’…so the next time you burn a piece of toast, make sure you send it in.
3. Parasite Museum, Tokyo
Source: Guide Museum
If you are anything like me then you will have spent countless hours pondering the mighty parasites of the world. Luckily we can all finally rest easy thanks to Tokyo’s Parasite Museum.
Boasting 300 varieties, this is the perfect haven for all keen parasite watchers. To put things into perspective, the real star of the show is a 30-foot tapeworm pulled out of an unsuspecting woman who had reportedly picked it up eating sushi. Naturally the museum is free, because who would really pay money for that.
4. Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
I can tell you in two words who need reminding of my failed romances. No one. Thankfully this museum isn’t about me…which is lucky because I am all for prying on the relationships of others.
5. The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Culver City, Calif.
This museum is a cabinet of curiosities that asks patrons to determine what’s true and what’s not. Of course they don’t provide answers, so reality within its walls is whatever you make it. They showcase everything from supersonic bats, to dogs in space and statues small enough to sit in the eye of a needle. It got me thinking about the scene in Jurassic Park where they are in a movie theatre come science lab looking at baby dino hatchling, followed by the classic ‘sharks with frickin lasers’ from Austin Powers. I would literally bet all of a dollar that both of these cultural references are included in this museum.
6. Cumberland Pencil Museum, Keswick
The Cumberland Pencil Museum is located in the area where graphite was first mined and the first pencil factory was built in 1832. At school, this museum would’ve made my life. When I got my first pack of engraved pencils with my name on I thought it was IT. However, a few years later I tossed them aside in favour of gel pens. Make a gel pen museum, with scratch and sniff displays, and I’m there.
7. Colman’s Mustard Shop and Museum, Norwich
Speaking of incredibly niche museums, welcome to the Colman’s Mustard Museum. Imagine every ham sandwich you’ve ever had without a dollop of the golden goo. Imagine the way it smells; the way it feels on your tongue when you lick the fork. Everything you wear is a shade of mustard to remind you of that glorious moment…
If that made you feel good inside, direction can be found here.
Source: Visit Bejing
Built on the ground which once held the first water plant in Beijing, this museum contains over 130 different objects related to the history of tap water in China. It’s a testament to early collaboration between China and the West, and a number of historically significant items call this place home, such as posters advertising the invention of tap water. At the time, many of the Chinese were wary, referring to the output as “foreign water,” and it was tough to get them to accept it.
To be fair, running water is brilliant, and it’s something we all take for granted. So if Burnt Food warrents its own museum then Tap Water deserves it too.
9. Lawnmower Museum, Trerice
The Lawnmower Museum is in the grounds of Trerice House, a National Trust property. I mean, if you are already at Treice House then curiosity would demand you went. But making a day trip to gaggle at lawnmowers, meh not so much.
10. Phallus Museum, Iceland
‘Probably the only museum in the world to contain a collection of phallic specimens belonging to all the various types of mammal found in a single country.’ I did a quick google, and I think they are the winners.
11. Museum of Funeral Carriages, Barcelona
Barcelona is a beautiful city; with Gaudi architecture to the surrounding coastline. Some may say this is a city full of life. That is unless you visit the Municipal Funeral Service, where you will be guided to the eerie basement by a security guard. Below ground houses ornate carriages, which date back as far as the 18th century, manned by legit dead people (or seriously good dummies, one can’t be sure) in period costume.
As a lover of all things morbid this is one I would actually visit.
12. The Hobo Museum, Britt, IA
Source: Hobo Museum
Packed to the brim with drifter memorabilia, the Hobo Museum celebrates the vagabond lifestyle. Everything is hobo themed, from hobo art to hobo mail and full on hobo days. This is the perfect place to go to forget about the burdens of 21st century life and just chill with your favourite wanderers.