15 Weird Museums You Never Knew Existed
Some museums hold stranger collections than others. Here’s our list of the exceptionally odd ones.
With a world filled with billions of people, there are bound to be a variety of eclectic interests and museums are no exception. From bad art to bananas and roller skating to UFOs, there's a museum for every person. Here are the strangest museums in each state.
The 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
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
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
Learn about the history of buttons. Browse a collection of political, humorous, and just plain entertaining buttons. Visitors can even make their own buttons at this hidden Chicago gem (or button?). This museum wants to pay you to complete 18th-century puzzles.
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 toenail, 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
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
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
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. These are the 12 UFO myths scientists wish you would stop believing.
The Mob Museum
Located in Downtown Las Vegas in the United States, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, also called the Mob Museum, provides a thorough history of organized crime and a view in the Mob world. Located in a former 1933 U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, the Mob Museum has both permanent and rotating exhibitions on everything having to do with the past and the present, including the Valentine's Day Massacre wall and film selections. Here are 13 additional things to do in Las Vegas that don't involve casinos.