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5 of the world’s strangest museums

 

Photo by Missouri Division of Tourism licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

When you take a trip to the museum, you expect to spot ancient artifacts, works of art, and even dinosaur bones. But these museums are all about odd exhibits. To celebrate these strange museums, let’s pay them a visit!

Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, Japan

Visitors looking at a wall of noodles.
Photo by Alyson Hurt licensed CC BY-NC 2.0

You might think that the best place to study instant noodles is in a soup bowl. But there’s actually a Japanese museum dedicated to the stringy soup ingredient. The museum features exhibits that look at the history of instant noodles and even has a tunnel that visitors can walk through to see noodle packages from around the world. It turns out instant noodles are a well-loved meal – about 100 billion servings of noodles are consumed throughout the globe every year! The museum also has a workspace where visitors can make their own noodles to take home and enjoy. And for those who just can’t wait, there’s a tasting room full of vending machines. You can choose the noodle soup of your choice and enjoy it right away in the dining area.

Leila’s Hair Museum, Missouri, USA

Framed hair wreaths decorate the walls in a gallery.
Photo by Missouri Division of Tourism licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Talk about hair-raising! This museum is dedicated to nothing but hair. And not just strands of hair – artwork made from human hair. Yes, it turns out that hair art dates back to at least the 1400s. Since cameras had yet to be invented, hair was cut from people’s heads as a way of remembering family members. And, in some cases, the hair was turned into pieces of art and jewellery. This hair museum features a collection of over 200 hair wreaths and more than 2,000 pieces of human hair jewellery from the 1800s. This includes hairy creations such as rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. Who knew!

Leeds Castle Dog Collar Museum, England

A close-up of a fancy dog collar made of brass.
Photo by Courtney “Coco” Mault licensed CC BY-NC 2.0

It may seem that an exhibit of dog collars wouldn’t be all that interesting, but there’s quite a history to doggie neckwear. This museum features a collection of nearly 100 dog collars that date back as far as the 1600s. Some of the collars are decorated with leather, velvet, and fancy metalwork, offering visitors a glimpse of dog fashions through the centuries. And others show us that dog collars were used for more than just ID or for fastening to a leash. Many of the collars on display in the museum are engraved with special words or quotes that were important to the dog’s owner.

Paris Sewer Museum, France

In a lit up sewer complete with tunnels and lights.
Photo by ignis licensed CC BY-SA 3.0

When most people think of Paris, they picture the Eiffel Tower or the beautiful lights that glimmer when night falls. But this museum is all about what’s going on below ground… in a section of the city’s sewer system! During a trip to the Sewer Museum, visitors travel beneath Paris and tour through underground tunnels learning about the history and design of the sewer system. They can also see exhibits of sewer pipes and equipment and learn about the jobs of sewer workers. Of course, the exhibits are only one part of the experience. Visitors to this museum must be prepared to take in all that the sewer have to offer, including the… um… smell!

Cancun Underwater Museum, Mexico

Underwater statue of a shirtless man sitting on couch in front of TV.
Photo by 2il org licensed CC BY 2.0

You’ll find this museum deep in the Caribbean Sea, but you need to be a certified diver to visit it. This underwater museum features over 400 life-size sculptures that divers can discover and swim around. Created by six artists, the artwork was placed into the sea between 2009 and 2013. A huge crane carefully lowered the sculptures and placed them on the seafloor. The artwork is made from special concrete that encourages coral to grow on it. This has turned the art into more than a museum exhibit. Over the years, the sculptures have transformed into artificial reefs, creating a place for marine life to grow and thrive.