School trips are always the highlight of an otherwise ordinary school week. Today, we have a roundup of some of the oddest museum collections around the world. Hopefully you’ll one day get to visit at least one of these strange museums.
If you’re ever in Wisconsin for any particular reason, stop by Middleton and visit the National Museum of Mustard. The brainchild of a man who was frustrated by his post-losing-baseball game search for mustard, it is now one of Wisconsin’s top draws. It won’t cost you a thing to learn about the 5,566 varieties of mustard on display, either, but do buy some from the shop.
Perhaps the most innocuous on our list is in Merseyside, Great Britain, and celebrates that miracle of British Engineering, the lawnmower. Open Monday through Saturday from 9AM to 530PM, you can meander on in and satisfy your intense curiosity about the miracle machine that has been making British lawns famous for their plush texture since 1830. At that time, the inventor, Edwin Beard Budding, would only test it at night lest he be made a mockery; oh, if he only knew! Today, you can satisfy your competitive urge by watching the lawnmower races, get answers to your lawnmower questions, or just bring yours on over as the Museum is probably one of the most interesting repair shops you’ll ever encounter.
From the innocuous to the obnoxious – it’s a good thing the admission is free because, frankly, there is no amount of money I will ever pay to look at a thirty-foot tapeworm that had been removed from someone’s actual intestine. That’s the highlight of the Meguro Parasitological Museum in Meguro, Japan. Established in 1953 by Doctor Satoru Kamegai, someone who really, really liked parasites! Today, there are over 45,000 preserved specimens… *shudder*.
After creepy-crawlies, it’s not too great a stretch to see gophers in Alberta. To deal with their overbearing gopher problem, the people of Torrington, rather than doing something drastic that would bring down the wrath of animal rights activists on their heads, created Gopher Hole Museum. Over 70 stuffed gophers all dressed up like people and set in little exhibits: a preacher gopher being supervised by an angel gopher, policemen gophers, fishermen gophers, etc. It’s adorable and, while not free, at $2CAD/person (14 years of age and over) and 50 cents per child, it might as well be.
Ah, Paris! There’s nothing like springtime in Paris – so where else would you want to go but the Institut du Radium’s Musée Curie? That’s right, you can head on over and, for free, check out the actual office and chemistry lab of the one and only Marie Curie (don’t worry – they decontaminated it in the 1980s). There are scientific instruments and there’s even a paper written by Mme Curie and her husband at the turn of the 20th century but keep back – it’s still radioactive. On second thought, perhaps some single trip insurance would be in order before visiting. You know – just in case.