After months of museums and cultural centers remaining shuttered around the world, some venues are once again opening their doors. When exploring a city, it is easy to identify interesting art or history museums and blockbuster exhibits. But what about those that are a bit more quirky, more off the beaten path—or maybe even devoted to subjects not necessarily palatable to everyday audiences? From a collection of excavated mummies to one focused exclusively on every college student’s dinnertime staple, these are some of the most unusual museums around the world.
The International UFO Museum, Roswell, New Mexico
Just one state over from the better-known Area 51 in Nevada is The International UFO Museum. Located at the site of a reported 1947 UFO sighting, this is the perfect stop for those looking to explore the extraordinary with updated information on all things otherworldly.
Museum of the Mummies of Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
Not for the squeamish, this museum preserves and displays in glass cases the bodies of the deceased from the surrounding area whose relatives were no longer able to pay a grave tax. Because of the dry conditions in the area, the bodies became naturally mummified.
International Cryptozoology Museum, Portland, Maine
“Crypto-what?” you might be asking. Cryptozoology is the study of hidden or unknown animals. But these exhibits go beyond Bigfoot and Nessie; included in this collection is what is said to be a hair sample from the Abominable Snowman and more.
Micropia, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Here is a next-level take on that middle school science lesson about growing bacteria in a Petri dish. Dedicated to the smallest of small microorganisms, this museum is the only one of its kind in the world.
Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
This crowdsourced museum—with an outpost in Los Angeles and traveling exhibits—is filled with short, anonymous vignettes documenting broken hearts. Visitors can find anything from an old flame’s belly button lint to the axe one lover took to an ex’s furniture in revenge.
Hair Museum of Avanos, Avanos, Turkey
Most of us expect to see hair attached to our bodies or tangled in a brush, not hanging in a museum. This collection of over 16,000 samples of women’s hair has continued to grow over 30 years as visitors often donate some of their own. The tradition began after a local potter’s friend left town, leaving a lock of hair for him to remember her by.
Museum of Tap Water, Beijing, China
About more than just the water that comes out of your faucet, this spot takes visitors on a journey through the city’s history and the expansion of its tap water system, which was introduced in the early 1900s. As the museum is not geared toward non-Mandarin speakers, foreign visitors may benefit from a guide.
The CUPNOODLES Museum, Osaka, Japan
What is now considered a culinary staple for students was invented over 60 years ago in a shed by Momofuku Ando. This museum—a perfect pilgrimage for anyone who has subsisted on instant ramen as an affordable, easy meal—includes a replica of the fateful shed as well as a chance for visitors to create their own CUPNOODLES package, a tasting room to try little-known varieties and more.
BY : ALEXANDRA SCHONFELD – Newsweek