Strange Museums

Might as well start making plans for when we can travel again.. 2023’ish???

Here are some of the world’s strangest museums.

• The Instant Ramen Museum in Japan. In 1958 — after a year of experimenting in his backyard shed— Momofuku Ando invented the world’s first instant noodles: Chicken Ramen. The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum documents this chapter of Japan’s food culture, where visitors can view instant noodles packages from around the world.

• International Spy Museum. Washington D.C.’s International Spy Museum features the largest ever public collection of espionage artifacts, shedding light on one of the world’s most secretive professions.

• The Mummy Museum. In the small mining town of Guanajuato, Mexico, hundreds of bodies were buried in the Santa Paula Pantheon’s crypts during the mid-19th century. If families were unable to pay a burial tax imposed by the town, the bodies were exhumed. It was then that they discovered the bodies had been mummified through a natural process, likely due to the region’s unique climactic factors. Their ghoulish corpses — including those of infants — are now on display.

• International Museum of Toilets. Located in India’s buzzing capital of New Delhi, the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets details the history of hygiene and sanitation from 2500 B.C. to present day.

• Ventriloquist Museum. In 1910, William Shakespeare Berger bought his first dummy: Tommy Baloney. By 1947, his collection had grown so large he renovated his garage to house the figures, and in 1962, he had to construct a second building. Today, Vent Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, displays more than 800 dummies, photos, playbills, and historical books from Berger’s collection.

• Dog Collar Museum. This museum, in Kent, England, was founded in 1977, when antique collector Gertrude Hunt presented her beloved collection of 60 dog collars to Leeds Castle. Since then, the museum has continued to expand, and there are now more than 130 exhibits, dating from the sixteenth century.

• Museum of Bread Culture. Whether it’s a warm pretzel or deliciously dark rye bread, Germans love their dough-based produce. This museum, in Ulm, Germany, was founded by two entrepreneurs who worked in the bakery trade before opening their first permanent exhibition in 1960. It soon became a museum, which is now run by a charitable foundation.

• Kansas Barbed Wire Museum. Did you know that barbed wire was first patented in 1874? Or that it played a crucial role during the World War I, when its high tensile strength made it a powerful deterrent against enemy tanks? This museum has more than 2,000 types of barbed wire on display.

• Beijing Tap Water Museum. This is an odd one, considering Beijing residents have never thought the water coming out of their taps was safe to drink.

• Celebrity Lingerie Hall of Fame. Frederick’s of Hollywood, the store that brought unmentionables such as push-up bras and thong panties to the world, has in its hot-pink art deco flagship display a snapshot of Tinseltown literally under wraps. While the ground floor is devoted to retail, upstairs is a who’s who of Hollywood undergarments, from Tom Hanks’ boxer shorts in Forrest Gump to the undies of the entire cast of Beverly Hills 90210.

• Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum. Andrea Ludden’s obsession is with salt and pepper shakers. A trained anthropologist, she’s writing a definitive study of the condiment dispensers, and displays her collection of more than 22,000 sets of salt and pepper shakers in a building specially arranged for their purpose in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.