Ten Most Unusual Museums

By: CultureOwl
Visual Arts
Ten Most Unusual Museums

While there are many reasons to visit museums (some of which we’ve covered in past editorials), most can agree that, traditionally, the primary reasons involve getting a cultural and educational fix on both historical, as well as contemporary visual arts. But there is so much more museums have to offer! We have done a little digging, and unearthed some of the most unusual museums that put a unique spin on the common conceptions. So come along on this expedition across the globe, and unveil a world of new and different possibilities you may exhibit an interest in!

Hammer Museum - ALASKA

Looking to nail the perfect museum visit? Next time you find yourself in Haines, Alaska, you’ll definitely want to check out the Hammer! It’s the world’s first museum dedicated to preserving the history of the hammer, one of the first tools created by humankind. From ancient Egypt to contemporary times, the hammer has been an indispensible tool and you’ll discover its many looks, sizes and shapes in exhibits that have something to offer everyone, not just the handyman/handywoman.


UFO Museum and Research Center - new Mexico

Move over X-Files. This museum is the real deal. Located in legendary Roswell, New Mexico, the UFO Museum and Research Center provides skeptics and the faithful with a collection of memorabilia from the infamous UFO crash of 1947, that’s still a hot topic among naysayers and conspiracy theorists, who allege the government has covered-up the truth! The museum also offers information on related unexplained phenomena to whet the curiosities of amateur investigators everywhere.


Cancun Underwater Museum (MUSA) - Mexico

Museo Subacuatico de Arte provides new depths to the museum experience. Imagine a submerged collection of over 400 sculptures of local residents and celebrities, nestled in the crystal clear waters of the Mexican National Marine Park in the Caribbean, and you’ll soon realize this is not your grandmother’s trip to the museum! So get your scuba gear ready for an aquatic adventure into an eco-friendly world of art, utilizing marine-friendly materials and destined to one day evolve into a breathtaking coral reef!


Museum of Bad Art - BOSTON

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Well, sometimes the general consensus is that something is not very appealing, and Boston’s Museum of Bad Art specializes in exhibiting these aesthetically-challenged pieces, so you can make up your own mind. Whether it’s distorted portraits or bizarre sculptures and paintings, there’s something for every appreciator of the unappreciated out there. If anything, the short narratives that attempt to shed light on how these miss-terpieces came to be will provide entertaining discussion and debate fodder.


Leila’s Hair Museum - missouri

Works of art created entirely out of human hair? Forget those split-ends. Leila’s offers visitors the chance to see thousands of wreaths and jewelry pieces composed of hair, a custom that is believed to have been trendy in the Victorian era. Queen Victoria’s own hair is on display in this collection, that some might consider a bit hair-raising. But most visitors will get a kick out of weaving through the museum and combing the collection for celebrity hair, in addition to the rest of the pieces.


Sulabh International Museum of Toilets - new delhi, india

We wouldn’t be surprised if you were left feeling rather flushed after experiencing this one-of-a-kind collection, with exhibits dating back to ancient times. And you’ll be too busy gawking at all the images and historical facts scrawled on the walls to care if anyone left the seat up or down. But beware: No exhibits are to be utilized in case of emergencies!


Pacific Pinball Museum - CALIFORNIa

Who says visiting a museum can’t be fun? This interactive Bay Area museum/arcade is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Pinball, one of America's favorite pastimes, and offers a chronological and historical selection of 90+ playable pinball machines from the 1930s and 40’s to present day. Throughout the museum are large-scale hand-painted murals, vintage jukeboxes and galleries with rotating exhibits. Art, History and Science enthusiasts alike, will have a blast at this must-see spot. And the added bonus? You get to play Pinball!


National Mustard Museum - Wisconsin

So legend has it, this museum, which features over 5,624 mustards from all 50 states and over 70 countries, is the end result of what happens when mustard speaks to a man in a grocery store and challenges him to collect the condiment. Now whether or not this tale of Barry Levenson’s fateful mustard encounter while searching for the meaning of life is fact or fiction, the truth of the matter is that this museum has been hailed as “one of Wisconsin’s most popular attractions.” Pass the mustard, indeed!


British Lawnmower Museum - ENGLAND

Who says that mowing the lawn is a real chore? Okay, so maybe it is. But this museum is anything but. Established by an ex-racing champion, this collection of antique garden machinery is the largest in the world, featuring lawnmowers once belonging to Charles and Diana (though we doubt they ever personally did any of the mowing). In either case, this museum definitely makes the cut in our unique and unusual list!


Southern Food & Beverage Museum - NEW ORLEANS

The Museum of the American Cocktail For hundreds of years, the cocktail has made an impact on the arts all over the globe. But did you know that cocktails started out as pain remedies available in pharmacies in New Orleans? Talk about a winning prescription! Then the city invented ice, which was added to the mix of sugar and liquor, and a staple of American social gatherings was born! The museum features a working antique bar with intricate, old-fashioned contraptions, where you can sit back and enjoy a glass of absinthe, a turn-of-the-twentieth-century fave of writers and artists. So raise a glass and get your fill of every aspect of American cocktails, from bottles, mixing tools, exhibits on the Prohibition Raids, Whiskey galleries and more. We’ll toast to that!


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