If you can’t think of a better way to spend your Sunday afternoon than delving deep into history, exploring artwork, or learning new facts about science, then you probably thrive off the environment in museums. No matter what city or state you live in, there’s always a museum filled with artifacts and stories that are fun to explore. Even if you’re the thrill-seeking adventurous type who would rather try your hand at surfing in Hawaii or go backpacking through the mountains than look at art all day long, then fear not — there’s still a museum you’ll enjoy. The following five museums are among the most unique (and odd) in the world, and you may be shocked and enthralled by what’s inside. You won’t want to miss these unique museums.
1. The Museum of Bad Art in Brookline and Somerville, Mass.
Think you can’t even draw a straight line? Don’t feel too bad about yourself — the featured artists in this museum aren’t very good at what they do, either, and you’ll get to see their bad art in all its glory when you visit the Museum of Bad Art in Massachusetts. From really horribly drawn portraits to landscapes with all of the wrong colors, this museum has been bringing bad art to audiences since 1994, and it continues to grow bigger and better (or worse).
The beauty of this museum is where it’s located as well. Its first location in Somerville, Massachusetts, is located inside of a small 1927 movie theater, so you can go enjoy your movie and then enter the museum. Since then, they’ve opened two other galleries in the Boston area and expanded their collection. You won’t want to miss the Blue People collection, where artists have decided to make everyone a different hue of blue. And be sure to check out some of the funnier titles: “Queen of the Chocolate Chip” and “Heather Come Hither.” It’s fun, it’s funny, and it’s totally unique. Check this one out the next time you’re anywhere near Boston.
2. Beijing Museum of Tap Water, Beijing
If you’ve ever been curious about how tap water developed in China, then the Beijing Museum of Tap Water is the perfect opportunity to brush up on your knowledge. This museum was built on the site of the Beijing City Water Supply Company that was founded in 1908, explains The Beijinger. The museum goes into how difficult it was for the city of Beijing to develop tap water and the struggles that progressed for the next 100 years.
In this museum, you’ll find the social history that surrounded the tap water difficulties, the engineering behind it, and the historic facts about what was going on in the country during this time. You’ll see photos from the early 1900’s as well as vintage artifacts, and while it may not be the most enthralling experience in China, it’s certainly unique. Because Beijing still faces challenges with their tap water, this museum is surprisingly relevant.
3. Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, Yokohama City, Japan
If the sight of ramen noodles takes you back to your college dorm room days, then be prepared to take a big trip down memory lane if you visit the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum in Japan. This museum is dedicated to ramen noodles in all their glory, and we don’t mean the cheap packages with the powdered seasonings. Ramen noodles have actually been a staple in the Japanese diet since 1958. Now, you can find over 200,000 ramen restaurants in Japan according to Travel + Leisure, and this museum is the perfect way to celebrate the dish.
Described as a “food-themed amusement park” on their website, this museum comes complete with three floors (two of which are underground), which includes souvenir shops, cafes, and a huge variety of ramen noodle stands. These stands also offer samples and small portions so you can float from one to the next to try every type of ramen available.
4. The Dog Collar Museum, Kent, England
When you take your dog for a walk and hook your leash to the collar, have you ever wondered where such a device was invented? For most, the answer is probably no. Anyone who answered yes, though, will want to visit the Dog Collar Museum in Kent, England. It incorporates ancient history with canine décor and it’s located in the breathtaking Leeds Castle, so you can explore the castle itself and other exhibitions when you’re finished.
As for what’s inside, you’ll find a full display of over 130 prehistoric dog collars that are both rare and valuable. The earliest in the collection dates all the way back to 15th century Spain and 16th century Germany. You’ll learn where the collars are from, why they were constructed the way that they were, and what kind of dog they were meant for.
5. Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, Delhi, India
If you find yourself in India, you may be wondering why you would ever want to visit the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets. While the name may not give images of majestic paintings and historical artifacts that you’re accustomed to in your museum-going experience, this museum is still well worth a visit if you’re looking for a truly unique experience. The museum itself centers on giving you the background information on hygiene and sanitation and how it has affected India as a whole. The toilet as we know it has come from a long line of sanitation devices before it, and knowing the history behind our current flushing model is worthwhile and intriguing.
You’ll never find a collection of toilets, like the ones found in this museum. Not only will you look at privies, chamber pots, and water closets that date back to 1145 AD, but you’ll also learn about bathroom-related customs that vary from country to country and the legislation surrounding sanitation that was being pushed many years ago. If you stop by this museum, you’ll be leaving with way more knowledge about toilets than you ever thought possible.