Museums give us a unique glimpse into the past (or in some cases into the future). There are exhibits that outnumber moderate sized countries’ populations all over the globe. So with all of these museums and all of the things that they keep inside of them, surely there are some pretty strange and weird items that inspire awe (or terror) in the people who encounter them. Here are the Top 10 Weirdest Items found at Museums all over the world.
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Here are the Top 10 Weirdest Things Ever Preserved in A Museum
There is an entire museum dedicated to trash (called The Trash Museum) in the state of Connecticut, USA. Proving the fact that people will head off to museums to see just about anything if it is presented well, The Trash Museum sees a steady flow of patrons year round. Items vary from all types and sizes, proving the adage that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” or in this case, museum exhibits. But trash is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to weird things in museums.
9. Route 66
The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. is one of the foremost curators of American and world history across the entire globe. However, this notoriety does tend to come with a few strange acquisitions in the name of being that foremost museum in American History. One of the strange exhibits that the massive museum displays is a 50 ft. section of historic Route 66. During a rebuilding process of the iconic route that spans nearly half of the country, the Smithsonian saw an opportunity to grab a literal piece of Americana to display to the paying public.
8. Dressed Up Cockroaches
There is a museum in Plano, Texas that is devoted entirely to the worlds most hated insect, the cockroach. This infamous pest is meant to be seen in a new and fun light throughout the displays of the museum. This is primarily done through dressing the roaches up in tiny clothing and staging them in various ways. Some of them are meant to be inspired by famous actors and actresses, some of them are meant to be inspired by musical acts throughout the ages, while others are meant to draw inspiration from historical events from around the world. Either way, it’s pretty weird to dress up dead cockroaches, whether they are dressed like Elvis or not.
7. Veg-O-Matic II
Ironically enough, this is an item that saw its popularity throughout the years in various infomercial slots on late night television. This iconic item saw the first use of the now famous phrase “But wait….there’s more!” This is displayed in the Smithsonian museum as a distinct reminder to the role that late night infomercials play in the overall culture of American society. As earlier established, the Smithsonian is one of the foremost museums in the world detailing American history and this is one of the weirder items to be featured in an exhibit, but historic nonetheless.
6. Woman Made of Soap
While there is nothing more morbid than a dead body being preserved in a museum, this kind of falls directly into that niche. This weird item is a woman that has been turned into soap by a combination of being burned with a specific combination of chemicals in a fire. This has turned her into a literal charred body that has the exact properties of the bars of soap we all know and use. This tragedy is preserved for generation after generation to see and experience in the Mutter Museum, no matter how gruesome of a site it actually is or how tragic the circumstances surrounding the freakish event.
5. Wreaths of Human Hair
There is nothing quite like celebrating the few things that we all can use to find common ground, like having hair. This distinctive and unifying trait among all of the various ethnicities is celebrated through many displays at Leila’s Hair Museum. Perhaps one of the weirdest exhibits in this already fairly strange museum are the wreaths that are made from different types of human hair. Different colors and consistencies from all over the world are represented in countless wreathes neatly created into small wreaths.
4. 30 Ft. Tapeworm
Oh yes, the tapeworm makes an appearance in a museum that specializes in bringing medical anomalies to light. In this particular exhibit, a 30 ft tapeworm successfully extracted from a young woman is on display to be seen and appreciated. Since most of the general public has no idea what a tapeworm actually looks like, let alone one that is roughly 6 times the length of the average human being, it is certainly a weird but fascinating exhibit at the Museum of Parasitology in Tokyo, Japan.
3. Cher Ami
Cher Ami is a pigeon that was used during WWI. During this time, one of the more experimental yet effective methods of communicating back to base from key installations was through carrier pigeon. While this was not always the most effective means of communication, Cher Ami was one of the most famous pigeons to complete the task necessary. This particular bird saved the lives of allies throughout the war, flying a total of 12 successful missions. Upon the bird’s death, it was preserved and donated to the Smithsonian. So this is a very old, very dead bird that people are marveling at each and every single day.
2. Abraham Lincoln’s Top Hat
The Smithsonian is known for having many of the items that belonged to each and every single President to ever run the country. Perhaps one of the most morbid and weird of these items would be the top hat that Abraham Lincoln was wearing the night that he was assassinated in Ford’s Theater.
1. Head Press
At the Amsterdam Museum of Torture Instruments, the Head Press gives museum goers a chance to see a truly gruesome instrument of torture used a long time ago. While our methods of torture have evolved, there is nothing quite like seeing how inventive that people used to be in hurting one another. This particular device is able to be tried out to a certain extent at the museum, which when used fully, crushes the skull completely (obviously killing the individual harnessed inside).
These are a few of the weirdest things ever to be preserved in a museum. There are all kinds of strange themed museums all over the world, but for all of the items in all of these places, these items make up some of the strangest or most off putting that you are likely to see. Whether you consider them intrical parts of world history or not, some of these things are a little strange to pay to see when you stop and think about it.