|Ten Unusual Museums.|
Monday, 28th May 2012
See these bizarre collections, from shoes to sewers and from toilet seats to instant ramen.
1. Bata Shoe Museum - Toronto, Canada
Shoe fanatics, rejoice! The Bata Shoe Museum houses a collection of more than 10,000 items of footwear with over 4,500 years of history. See 15th century Peruvian ceremonial aladeros and 19th century French chestnut crushing clogs. From ancient Egyptian sandals to 20th-century celebrity shoes, this vast shoe collection will excite both fashion devotees and history buffs alike.
2. Paris Sewer Museum - Paris, France
Sure, travelers flock to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, but there's also the less conventional attraction: the Paris Sewer Museum. First opened to the public in 1867, the sewer tunnels running underneath Paris are where visitors can gain first-hand knowledge of the history and inner workings of the city's sewer system.
3. Museum of Witchcraft - Cornwall, England
Anyone even mildly curious about witches must visit the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall. Opened in 1951 by Cecil Williamson, the museum exhibits the largest witchcraft collection in the world. Visitors can learn about the practice and history of witchcraft and magic, and observe artifacts such as a witch's altar and a magician's sword. The museum also houses a library of more than 3,000 books.
4. British Lawnmower Museum - Merseyside, England
The fastest lawnmowers, lawnmowers of the rich and famous, and some of the most expensive lawnmowers in the world: these can all be seen at the British Lawnmower Museum in Merseyside, England. With over 250 lawnmowers, this museum is a tribute to the garden machine invented in 1830 by Edwin Beard Budding.
5. Toilet Seat Museum - Alamo Heights, Texas, United States
Barney Smith, a retired plumber, has been creating toilet seat art for over 30 years. More than 1,000 of his decorated commode covers are on display in the Toilet Seat Museum (Barney's garage) in Alamo Heights, Texas. Since Barney is the only person who operates the museum, travelers should call first, so he knows to open his doors.
6. Instant Ramen Museum - Osaka, Japan
Dedicated to ramen noodle cups and creator Momofuko Ando, the museum showcases the many ramen flavors made throughout the years, and a reproduction of the hut where the noodles were first produced. The museum has a kitchen facility where visitors can make fresh noodles, as well as a factory where visitors can assemble their own cup noodles.
7. Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum - Gatlinburg, Tennessee, United States
Explore the Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee housing a collection of over 20,000 sets of salt & pepper shakers from around the world, some dating back to the 1500s. Andrea, an archaeologist, was fascinated by the history behind salt & pepper shakers, and so she launched the museum. The museum also displays the largest collection of pepper mills in the world!
8. Cumberland Pencil Museum - Keswick, England
According to legend, a huge storm in the 1500s uprooted trees in Cumberland, and graphite was discovered. Shepherds used the graphite to mark their sheep, and thus began the area's pencil industry. The Cumberland Pencil Museum takes visitors through the history of the pencil and pencil making. The museum also houses the biggest pencil in the world; it's 26 feet and 984 pounds!
9. SPAM Museum - Austin, Minnesota, United States
In Austin, Minnesota, sits more than 16,000 square feet dedicated to Spam. The Spam Museum features a wall of Spam, interactive displays, a video, and historical exhibits of the Spam brand and Hormel Foods Company. Visitors can even learn how the "mystery meat" is produced. After touring the museum, browse Spam novelties in the gift shop and nosh on Spam cuisine in the dining area.
10. Cat Museum - Kuching, Malaysia
In Malaysia, the cat is considered lucky, and since Kuching translates to "The Cat City," it is only fitting that the Cat Museum be a popular attraction here. Feline enthusiasts can enjoy 2,000 exhibits, artifacts, and statues from around the world, from an Egyptian mummified cat to Hello Kitty items. The museum is also a research and information center that concentrates on the history and cultural beliefs about cats.