8 Weird Museums You Never Knew Existed
Some museums hold stranger collections than others (Elvis Presley’s toenail, anyone?). Here’s our list of the exceptionally odd ones.
The Museum of Bad Art
Courtesy Museum of Bad Art
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and to the curators at the Museum of Bad Art, none of these pieces are beautiful. They’re either bad pieces made by otherwise talented artists, or bad pieces made by exceptionally untalented artists. The collection includes portraits, landscapes, and still life pieces. This one, for example, is “Mana Lisa” by Andrea Schmidt of Vancouver, Canada. You can see most of the collection online, but there are also three permanent galleries in the Massachusetts area.
The Dog Collar Museum
Courtesy Dog Collar Museum at Leeds Castle
Located inside Leeds Castle in Kent, England, this museum showcases five centuries of dog collars. Some are iron, some are plastic, and some have large spikes. There’s something for everyone.
This museum dedicated to garbage might make you rethink what you throw out.
International Banana Museum
Courtesy Fred Garbutt
You can find practically every object shaped like a banana at this museum in Mecca, California. Some examples: staplers, statues, record players, and salt and pepper shakers. Even better, you can also eat practically any banana-flavored treat here, like banana ice cream, banana soda, and, of course, banana splits.
Busy Beaver Button Museum
Courtesy Busy Beaver Button Museum
Learn about the history of buttons. Browse a collection of political, humorous, and just plain entertaining buttons. You can even make your own buttons at this hidden Chicago gem (or button?).
This museum wants to pay you to complete 18th-century puzzles.
Museum of the Odd
Courtesy Museum of the Odd
Next time you’re in Lawrence, Kansas, stop by the Museum of the Odd to see things you never thought you’d want to see. The museum is actually the home of Randy “Honey Boy” Walker, who has collected such strange items as Elvis Presley’s toe nail, pictures of corpses in their coffins, and elephant dung in the shape of Adolf Hitler. (If you’re a super-fan of odd art, check out these abandoned works in the middle of nowhere.)
National Mustard Museum
Courtesy Mustard Museum
Founder Barry Levenson is seriously dedicated to mustard. He left his job as an assistant attorney general to start this condiment-honoring museum in Middleton, Wisconsin. It holds a collection of nearly 5,700 mustards from all 50 states and more than 70 countries. We didn’t even know that many types of mustard existed!
National Museum of Roller Skating
Courtesy National Museum of Roller Skating
This museum in Lincoln, Nebraska, boasts the largest collection of historical roller skates in the world. Some skates are almost 200 years old! There are also skating costumes, thousands of photos of skaters, and programs from national and international roller skating competitions.
Get a look inside the world’s first museum dedicated to Dr. Suess.
International UFO Museum and Research Center
Courtesy International UFO Museum and Research Center
Do extraterrestrials exist? If so, what is their preferred mode of transportation? The IUFOMRC in Roswell, New Mexico, is dedicated to answering these questions and researching UFO activity. It includes exhibits on crop circles, Area 51, and other alien-related events. It even keeps a log of UFO sightings across the country.
Next, be sure to check out these museums where you can spend the night.