Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

The World's Weirdest Museums

No interest is too small, it turns out.
  • 1 of 15

    |International Spy Museum

  • 2 of 15

    |Museum of Bad Art

  • 3 of 15

    |Explore Minnesota

  • 4 of 15

    |Neville Elder

  • 5 of 15

    |Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum by chee.hong [CC BY 2.0]

  • 6 of 15

    |Hormel Foods Corporation

  • 7 of 15

    |Bigfoot Discovery Project and Museum

  • 8 of 15

    |Courtesy of Black Paw Photo / New York Transit Museum

  • 9 of 15

    |The-Stills LifeStyle Agency MUSA Underwater Art Museum West Coast Marine National Park Isla Mujeres,

  • 10 of 15

    |Scott McMurren via Wikimedia Commons, [CC BY 2.0]

  • 11 of 15

    |Alex Ludden

  • 12 of 15

    |The Leeds Castle Foundation

  • 13 of 15

    |Sulabh International Social Service Organization

  • 14 of 15

    |PersianDutchNetwork via Wikimedia Commons, [CC BY-SA 3.0]

  • 15 of 15

    |Ventriloquist dummy by Gary Denham [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Fodors

If the internet has taught us anything, it's that none of us are alone in our interests. Even if they seem idiosyncratic, chances are someone has been fascinated enough to collect them into a musem-worthy display.These 15 museums, including one dedicated to Bigfoot, prove there’s truly no limit to the human imagination and that whatever your interest, there’s a place for you in the world.—Vanita Salisbury

International Spy Museum

Although it may sound like a destination for conspiracy theorists, theInternational Spy Museumin Washington, D.C., deals in fact: the history of intelligence and espionage as told through individual stories, artifacts, and, should you choose to accept your mission, interactive exhibits. Of course, as the exciting world of spydom has captured the public imagination, fictional stories are highlighted as well, like an exhibit of 50 years of James Bond villains, featuring props used from the films and exploration of the evil plots to take down humanity.

Museum of Bad Art

Art is subjective, sure, but thiscommunity-run museumcherishes all the (mal)forms, displaying it across three locations in Massachusetts — two fittingly outside of theater bathrooms. The inaugural piece, "Lucy in the Sky with Flowers," was discovered in the garbage. You can also see the collection online, meticulously detailed with descriptions and helpfully separated into categories like portraiture, landscape, “noods” (nudes) and the more obscure “blue people.”

RELATED: The world's most famous cemeteries

Twine Ball Museum

Less of amuseumand more of a ball of twine made by one man measuring 40 feet in circumference and weighing 17,400 pounds, this massive attraction grew out of the daily labor one man, Francis A. Johnson of Darwin, Minnesota, for 23 weeks in 1950. This display of persistence is on view year-round in a glass-walled gazebo for free, but if you can, try to show up on the second Saturday in August when the town celebrates Twine Ball Days.

Museum of the American Gangster

Americans are obsessed with gangster stories, which is evident inthis museum, located above a former New York City speakeasy frequented by the likes of Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and John Gotti. The two rooms are packed with encyclopedic memorabilia: bullets from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, a range of firearms including an actual Tommy gun, and two death masks. See how Prohibition only fostered more new, imaginative crime, or take a tour with stops including a spot where Frank Sinatra once slung drinks. Maybe even down one yourself.

Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum

In 1958 Momofuku Ando invented the first instant noodles, which he called Chicken Ramen, after a year of researching and tinkering in a shed in his backyard. Today about 100 billion bowls are eaten every year worldwide.This museumin Osaka, Japan, is not only a monument to the noodle and the man, but also to the spirit of invention. You'll also go get hands-on with experiences like the My Cup Noodles factory, where you can design your own packaging and flavors.

Spam Museum

“Please don’t eat the exhibits” reads a sign at thismuseumdedicated to the eight-decade-old all-American lunchmeat Spam, which itself either represents “Spiced Ham” or “Shoulder of Pork and Ham.” Found in Austin, Minnesota, home to the Spam factory, the 14,000-square-foot museum houses Spam memorabilia and explores its role in culture, including an exhibit focused on Spam's role in the military during World War II, which elevated the canned meat’s popularity in island nations. Did you know Hawaii consumes more Spam than any other state?

RELATED: Sleep like a king at 10 castle hotels in Germany

Bigfoot Discovery Project and Museum

In 1967, filmmakers Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin recorded a subject they claimed was a female Sasquatch running through the forests of Oregon. It is the definitive evidence for Bigfoot enthusiasts, so of course an exhibit on the film is a focus of theBigfoot Museumin Felton, California. The museum is just steps away from Henry Cowell State Park, where there have also been sightings. Alongside local tales and memorabilia like matchbooks and toys, you’ll also find plaster foot and handprints made by the filmmakers and what is allegedly dried droppings from the beast, though we’re not really sure how you would tell.

New York Transit Museum

The largestmuseum dedicated to urban public transportationis fittingly located in New York, housed in a decommissioned 1936 subway station Brooklyn. Along with exhibits highlighting the past and future of mass transit, visitors can take the helm of a city bus, explore vintage subway cars, and travel through time with the evolution of turnstiles. Also on view are historic signs (like “No Spitting on the Platform”).

For more of the world's weirdest museums, including a ventriloquist haven in Kentucky, visitFodor's.

 

Consider AlsoFurther Articles