As much as we love a grand museum full of fine art, we have a soft spot for the little museum dedicated to some oddball topic, too. Some gleefully offer up terrible art. Some are so gross they make people faint. And some are just plain weird.
Strange museums pop up all over the world, but for this look we’re sticking close to home, and we’re going with larger museums for now—no wackadoodle roadside holes in the wall here. Check out three of the oddest museums in America.
1. Mütter Museum
Perhaps the most famous on the list, Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum is best known for its collection of seeing-is-barely-believing medical oddities. It’s also likely one of the only museums in the world known for its many “fainting spots.” Alongside walls of skulls and America’s tallest human skeleton, visitors gawk, gape, and gag over exhibits of tumors, cysts, rare deformities, fused organs, terrifying old medical devices, and slices of Einstein’s brain.
2. Museum of Bad Art
“Art too bad to be ignored.” That’s the tagline at this Boston-area cathedral of crap. Exhibits include “Poor Traits,” a collection of terrible (paintings of) people; “Oozing My Religion,” featuring sinfully lousy art with religious themes; and “The Rainbow Collection,” which is just a lot of people apparently depicted in whatever color paint the artists had handy at the time.
3. International Cryptozoology Museum
For anyone who has ever even kiiiinda thought maybe there really is a Bigfoot or a Jersey Devil, this museum has it all. A celebration of all things cryptid, the ICM offers visitors to Portland, Maine, a healthy dose of anti-skepticism. Keep an open mind as you peruse exhibits on the Montauk Monster, a Yeti baby, and a Tatzelwurm, as well as highlights of actual unusual creatures like the Coelacanth and the Tasmanian Tiger. Oh, and enjoy the museum’s new fecally oriented Sasquatch-tracking exhibit: “Cryptoscatology.”