It used to be that if you wanted to find weird you’d have to go out and visit it yourself. Now an Osama bin Laden themed bar is a click away, the TLC Network provides us 24 hours a day with Half Ton Dads and a show where a baby cult is pretending to be a loveable family with 19 kids. The freak shows of yesterday never closed down, they just moved to the Internet and cable TV. In other words, it’s a great time to be alive!
Jim Bob thought these were condoms.
Today you can pry your eyes open Clockwork Orange style and fill your brain with a never ending stream of cat hoarders, robot sex fetishes and the everyday life of Florida. But there are still devoted maniacs out there dedicated to collecting bizarre things in actual brick-and-mortar buildings. Let’s take a look at the 5 weirdest:
# 1. Icelandic Phallological Museum
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I had the pleasure of attending a screening of The Final Member, which follows the story of the founder and curator of The Icelandic Phallological Museum Sigurður “Siggi” Hjartarson, who has spent 40 years collecting and preserving every type of mammal penis on Earth. His museum is just like Noah’s Ark, if Noah was obsessed with dicks.
This is not a Christopher Guest mocumentary.
What started out as a gag gift of a bull’s penis turned into his life calling. Imagine if only someone had given him a set of stamps instead. The museum boasts every penile specimen imaginable including a “folklore section” dedicated to mythological penises such as elves, trolls and “The Nasty Ghost of Snæfell”. I guess they couldn’t get a hold of Slimer’s penis.
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The official museum housing the collection began in 1997 and includes 280 penises, featuring everything from an enormous Blue Whale phallus measuring 67 inches and weighing 150 pounds to an itsy-bitsy hamster penis coming in at just .08 inches. Hamsters have “just been getting out of the pool” for the past one thousand years.
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Hamsters are the “George” of the animal kingdom.
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Sadly the aging Siggi is yet to add one final member to his collection: the human penis. Even in Iceland there are rules against displaying a severed human penis in your penis museum without getting permission from the penis’s owner first. In the film we meet a 96 year old Icelander who will donate his manhood when he dies and an American who wants to donate his penis named “Elmo” BEFORE he dies. Both aim to be the first human specimen included in the collection. The American has even created a self-published comic book where his disembodied penis, “Elmo” goes on adventures wearing a cape. Sadly Christopher Nolan passed on doing a gritty cinematic adaptation of this series.
#2. CapriTaurus Bigfoot Discovery Museum
[[contentId: 2607437| alt: | class: blog-img-left| style: float:right; height:150px; width:220px]]The Bigfoot Discovery Museum is an especially unique and creative museum in that it’s dedicated to an event that hasn’t happened yet; the discovery of Big Foot. This is like having a G-Spot Discovery Museum, am I right fellas? Opened in 2006 in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California the Big Foot Museum was founded by Michael Rugg and Paula Yarr. The museum “accepts the subject of the Patterson/Gimlin Film as the type specimen for the Pacific Coast Bigfoot or Sasquatch and seeks to create a dialogue about the implications of the impending “discovery of Bigfoot” by conventional Western science.” I really hope that Big Foot shows up soon so we can watch a scientist sheepishly apologize to the Big Foot Museum.
If only he would come out of hiding and get his Nobel Prize.
To advance the study and search for Sasquatch – or “Squatchin’” the museum features plaster foot and hand prints, the original, iconic 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film and details on local sightings. The museum promises that less than 50 percent of the “local sightings” are the museum’s curators running around the woods in a costume. You can even sit out back in the museum’s audio- video area and choose different documentaries about Big Foot to watch. This sounds way more convenient than watching them on Netflix at home.
Evidence is in the eye of the beholder, or this guy’s beard.
Sadly, unless you donate now the Big Foot Museum will have to close shop. With all the overhead costs, fighting the county for business zoning permits and Sasquatch grooming kits it’s expensive to keep running a Cryptozoology museum! Which is a shame, since busloads of school children should be taking fieldtrips to the Bigfoot Discovery Museum. Why isn’t Big Foot being taught in our schools!?
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For only 100 Thousand Dollars YOU can make Big Foot real for this man.
Visit the Big Foot Discovery Museum and keep the search alive, because you know what they say about guys with big feet. There is a museum in Iceland that would be interested in acquiring his penis.
# 3. The National Mustard Museum
[[contentId: 2607618| alt: | class: blog-img-left| style: float:right; height:149px; width:188px]]The National Mustard Museum is located in the heart of Mustard country; Wisconsin. Founded in 1986 by curator Barry Levenson, the museum has an obsessive collection featuring over 5, 624 mustards from every US state and 70 countries around the world. This is a lovely place to take your family for a fun afternoon, unless of course you’re a hotdog. The museum has been the site of 1,000,000 hot dog murders.
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The museum also displays vintage mustard jars and advertisements, The “Gibbons Collection of antique mustard pots” and hopefully the mummified remains of Colonel Mustard.
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It’s not hoarding if you put it in a glass case and charge admission.
The Mustard Museum doesn’t just have old mustard, but new varieties you can purchase in its expansive store. Thankfully the founder wasn’t inspired to create a Mustard Gas Museum. Levenson claims to have thought of the idea for the Mustard Museum after Red Sox lost the World Series in 1986 and he was disheartened, wandering through a supermarket mustard isle in the middle of the night. As if you had to be told the world’s largest collection of mustard was the result of a terrible sadness.
#4. Leila’s Hair Museum
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Not a Trap!
Founded in 1986 by a retired hairdresser, Leila Cohoon, the “world’s only hair museum” has a collection of 600 human hair wreaths and over 2,000 pieces of human hair jewelry. Before photography many cultures would save pieces of hair of deceased loved ones, sometimes turning it into art. Now, “hair art” is a great way to focus serial killer tendencies in a nonviolent way.
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Every day at the hair museum is a bad hair day.
Patrons can finally look at the pubes of their favorite historical figures to find out if the drapes match the carpet.The museum even includes locks of hair from several celebrities and presidents including Michael Jackson, Queen Victoria, Marylyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan and George Washington. No one has the heart to tell Leila that George Washington wore a wig.
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Receiving a bracelet made from human hair as an anniversary gift means your man wants a divorce but is really chicken shit.
#5. Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum
[[contentId: 2607635| alt: | class: blog-img-left| style: float:right; height:128px; width:99px]]Founded in 1910 by William Shakespeare Berger, the world’s “only ventriloquist museum” is located in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky and has over 750 dummies. Although I’m not sure if the term “dummy” is politically correct when talking to someone at the museum. They are super serious about their collection as they refer to ventriloquists by the term, “The Vent Community.” Pretty soon they will be having their own Vent parade and that’s just going to be a stiff affair.
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Along with the puppets, the museum’s exhibits include photos, playbills, old books and the feeling you’re being watched by unblinking eyes. Every year the museum hosts an international “ConVENTion” attended by hundreds of professional ventriloquists and the ghosts of the tormented dead trapped within each of their puppets.
It could happen!
Follow Phil Haney @PhilHaney