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Weird museums

Weird museums
JOSEPH SOHM; VISIONS OF AMERICA/GETTY IMAGES

With a world filled with billions of people, there are bound to be a variety of eclectic interests and museums are no exception. From bad art to bananas and roller skating to UFOs, there’s a museum for every person. This sign points to the ‘UFO crash site at Roswell’.

The Museum of Bad Art

The Museum of Bad Art
courtesy of The Museum of Bad Art

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and to the curators at the Museum of Bad Art, none of these pieces are beautiful. They’re either bad pieces made by otherwise talented artists or bad pieces made by exceptionally untalented artists. The collection includes portraits, landscapes and still life pieces. This one, for example, is ‘Mana Lisa’ by Andrea Schmidt of Vancouver, Canada. You can see most of the collection online.

The Dog Collar Museum

The Dog Collar Museum
COURTESY DOG COLLAR MUSEUM AT LEEDS CASTLE

Located inside Leeds Castle in Kent, England – once a residence of Henry VIII – this museum showcases five centuries of dog collars. Some are iron, some are plastic, and some have large spikes. There’s something for everyone.

The Museum of Bread and Art

The Museum of Bread and Art
PICTURE ALLIANCE/GETTY IMAGES

Located in the German city of Ulm, the Museum of Bread and Art is exactly what you think it is: a museum about bread – a much loved German staple. Entrepreneurs Willy Eiselen and his son Dr Hermann Eiselen founded the museum in 1955, with a focus on art and the global food system.

The Museum of Broken Relationships

The Museum of Broken Relationships
ARMEND NIMANI/GETTY IMAGES

The Museum of Broken Relationships opened in Croatia’s capital Zagreb in 2010. Developed by founders Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić after their own failed relationship, the idea was to collect items from other broken relationships – and donations from local residents rolled in. The museum has since expanded to pop-up locations where you can have a look at the broken relationships of people from around the world.

Iceland Phallological Museums

Iceland Phallological Museums
HALLDOR KOLBEINS/GETTY IMAGES

Located in Reykjavik, Iceland, the Iceland Phallological Museum is, according to its website, “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.” The museum brings the ancient science of phallology to light and allows people to take an educational and scientific approach to this field. There are more than 215 penises and penile parts in its collection.

If you think this museum a little strange, check out the oddly peaceful pictures of empty cities around the world during lockdown.

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Lee Maxwell Washing Machine Museum

Lee Maxwell Washing Machine Museum
COURTESY LEE MAXWELL

Who would have thought there would be such an interest in washing machines? The Lee Maxwell Washing Machine Museum, located in Colorado, USA, has more than 1400 antique washing machines. Lee Maxwell, a retired electrical engineering professor from Colorado State University, began collecting the machines in 1985 and the collection grew so vast that the Guinness World Record was awarded to him for the world’s largest washing machine collection.

Museum of Miniature Books

Museum of Miniature Books
NURPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

Books come in all shapes and sizes, and at the Museum of Miniature Books in Baku, Azerbaijan, these books come in miniature. The museum, which opened in 2002, contains thousands of tiny books from the private collection of bibliophile Zarifa Salahova. Some of the books are so small they can only be read using a magnifying glass! How’s that for dedication?

International UFO Museum and Research Center

International UFO Museum and Research Center
COURTESY INTERNATIONAL UFO MUSEUM AND RESEARCH CENTER

Do extraterrestrials exist? If so, what is their preferred mode of transport? The International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico, is dedicated to answering these questions and researching UFO activity. It includes exhibits on crop circles, Area 51 and other alien-related events. It even keeps a log of UFO sightings across the country.

While we may not be able to get out to these museums during the covid-19 pandemic, there are a bunch of virtual museums and concerts you can stream online.

The Mob Museum

The Mob Museum
CATALIN DANIEL CIOLCA/GETTY IMAGES

Located in Las Vegas, USA, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, also called the Mob Museum, provides a thorough history of organised crime and a view into the ‘mob’ world. Located in a former 1933 post office and courthouse, the Mob Museum has both permanent and rotating exhibitions, including the Valentine’s Day Massacre wall and film selections.

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