As part of our Strange and Bizarre Travel Tip Series, today’s tip is about strange places to see around the world — eight odd museums. If you’re ever near these locations, you should check them out. I bet they’d make a great travel article…
1. The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Among its collection, you’ll find a foot-operated breast enlarger pump, which reportedly gave nothing more than bruising to the four million women who forked out $9.95 for it back in 1976.
2. Leila’s Hair Museum, Independence, Missouri. This strange shrine to human hair has 2,000 samples of hair so far, including 59 wreaths. One of the wreaths was made from the heads of two sisters who had their heads shaved before entering the convent.
3. The Sewer Museum, Paris. If you can stomach it, you’ll take your tour on raised walkways directly above the sewage and be treated to photos of the sewer’s bygone days and such delights as stuffed sewer rats.
4. Parasite Museum, Tokyo. After a visit here, you may never eat sushi again. The highlight of the museum’s collection of 300 parasites is a 30-foot tapeworm taken from a lady who apparently picked it up eating the renowned Japanese delicacy.
5. Museum of Funeral Carriages, Barcelona. The most intriguing part of this museum is getting there. To get a glimpse at the ornate collection of funeral carriages, you must first register with the city’s Municipal Funeral Services. From there, you are brought to the basement by a security guard who will unlock the exhibition.
6. Baked Bean Museum of Excellence, Port Talbot, Wales. Perhaps the biggest attraction of this wacky museum is its curator, Captain Beany, who paints himself orange and issues every guest with a Certificate of Authenticity. Who wouldn’t be proud to hold one of these?
7. Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, New Delhi, India. Follow the evolution of the toilet from chamber pot to ornately-carved and painted urinal to a modern microwave toilet. Among the collection is a replica of the throne of King Louis XIII who gave audience while using the built-in commode.
8. Dog Collar Museum, Kent, UK. Located in Leeds Castle, this collection of collars spans five centuries and ranges from strong collars designed to keep control of hunting dogs to the more fashionable sparkly versions you’ll see today. (And, if the collars fail to inspire, there are 500 acres of parkland to stroll around, with or without dog.)
Yes, as Halloween approaches, the tips are getting stranger. Stay tuned for our last tip tomorrow about incorporating cemeteries into your travel itinerary.
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[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]