We've scoured the globe in search of the strangest and weirdest museums on Earth only to find passionate people behind them that are dedicated to their craft and extremely enthusiastic about their work. These museums may seem a little out there for some, but besides being weird, they can all claim being a unique part of the museum world.
Avanos Hair Museum (Turkey)
As the story goes, when one of Chez Galip's friends had to leave Avanos, Turkey in 1979, he became very depressed. To leave him something to remember her by, the woman cuts a piece of her hair and gave it to the potter. Displaying it in his shop, others who visited the potter decided to leave their own hair, and so the collection grew. The museum is now located under his pottery shop and at last count, contained hair from over 16,000 women. Walls, ceilings, and all other surfaces except the floor are covered in locks of hair from these different women along with pieces of paper with their address. Once or twice a year, a customer gets to choose 10 ladies from the wall, who will then win paid trips and free pottery classes from Chez Galip as a thanks for creating a unique museum. There is no entry charge, and women are not required to donate their hair if they visit, but are welcome to if they so desire.
Icelandic Phallological Museum (Iceland)
If you ever had the desire to stare at glass jars containing the male reproductive organ of several different animals, then you are in luck! In Reykjavik, Iceland, resides a museum that contains 283 "penises and penile parts", belonging to 93 different species. Included in their collection are 55 specimens from 16 kinds of whale, 1 from a polar bear, 36 from 7 kinds of seals and walrus, and more than 115 from 20 kinds of land mammal. The museum also notes that they have legally certified and been gifted 4 specimens belonging to Homo Sapiens. Opened on August 1997, the founder Sigurður Hjartarson no longer curates his creation, leaving that now to his son Hjörtur Gísli Sigurðsson. Currently admission is around 9 Euros, or $9.50, with pensioners and the disabled getting a slight discount, while children under 13 years get in for free.
International Museum of Toilets (India)
The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets is located in New Delhi, India and is open 7 days a week, with the only exceptions being Indian national holidays. This unusual museum displays toilet related paraphernalia dating from 3000 BC to modern times, and is arranged in three sections, Ancient, Medieval and Modern. Established in 1992 by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, the museum is dedicated to the global history of sanitation and toilets. Containing exhibits from 50 countries, they depict the development of toilet related technology for the entire span of known human history. An interesting exhibit displayed at this museum is a reproduction of the supposed toilet King Louis the XIV used to defecate in while holding court or the toilet camouflaged in the form of a bookcase.
International Banana Museum (USA - California)
Starting at a photography convention in 1972, Ken Bannister was passing out Chiquita banana stickers to people with the hopes of just grabbing people's attention and making them smile. He definitely captured the minds of some, as they started sending him banana memorabilia through the mail, eventually spurring the first International Banana Club. Eventually receiving so much banana related paraphernalia, Ken Bannister opened the International Banana Club Museum in 1976. The museum houses 17,000 banana related collectibles, all of which have been donated by members of the club. In 2010, Bannister sold the museum and its doors currently reside in Mecca, California. Pay just $15 or so for a lifetime membership, and you can have bragging rights for being in the same Banana-Club as TV Host Jay Leno and former late US President, Ronald Reagan!
Barbed Wire Museum (USA - Kansas)
Built in 1990, the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum houses over 2,400 varieties of barbed wire, including some from 1870 to 1890, along with the antique tools and equipment used in its manufacturing process. Operating through contributions of private collectors, this museum showcases its large collection through exhibits, dioramas, archives and even a theater. But if that wasn't enough, every May in LaCrosse, Kansas, where the museum resides, hosts the International Antique and Barbed Wire Supershow. The museum is devoted solely to the history and legend of the "Devils Rope", which barbed wire has been known to be called for its impact on the American west. Open only by appointment, they ask that you give them at least a 48-hour notice before visiting.
Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum (Japan)
Founded on March 6th in 1994 as the world's first food themed amusement park, the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum has nine ramen shops showcased in an exact replica of the streets of Japan in 1958. Why 1958? That was the year when instant ramen was invented by Momofuku Ando. This museum, located in Yokohama, Japan, offers admission for those 13 and older for about $2.60, or for children 12 to 6 and seniors for roughly 85 cents, while children 6 years or younger get in for free. At one point in 2013, the museum added American restaurant Ikemen Hollywood to their lineup of restaurants, but must not have been popular as it closed that branch in June of 2014. If you wanted to know more about the ramen noodles that sustained you through all those college years, you definitely will want to check this museum out.
Museum of Broken Relationships (Croatia)
Founded by two artists, film producer Olinka Vištica and sculptor Dražen Grubišić, it started as a joke when their 4-year relationship ended in 2003, and thought it would be funny to start an exhibit, adding their love paraphernalia to start it. Donations from friends got the collection going, and was shown publicly for the first time in 2006. In subsequent years, the collection toured the world, being seen by more than 200,00 visitors and continued to grow from donations. Grubišić and Vištica would eventually make a private investment on a 300-square meter or 3,200-square feet space in Zagreb, where the museum opened in October 2010. Admission for adults is $4.50 and $3 for students, pupils, people with disabilities, and seniors.
Torture Museum (Netherlands)
The Torture Museum is tucked away in the heart of Amsterdam near the Bloemenmarkt flower market, overlooking the Singel canal. The museum is a dark maze of small rooms, each housing one or two torture devices, with some behind glass, but others out in the open that can be touched. Each device has an enlarged image from an old book or article depicting that device in use and a description of how and why the instrument was used. Popular amongst tourists, the Torture Museum has multiple translations for their exhibits, and present it with dark lighting and a theatrical design to offset the otherwise gloomy mood. Visiting this museum will only set you back $8.50 per adult and $4.50 for children 12 and under.
Museum of Pez (USA - California)
Gary Doss, the curator of the museum is located in Burlingame, California and charges $3 to enter but can be reduced by an additional dollar with coupons available online. Originally showcasing the world's largest Pez dispenser at 7 feet 10 inches or 239 centimeters tall, it is now beat out by the Pez Visitor's Center's 12-foot or 365-centimeter model. Here you will learn the history of Pez and get a rundown of the museum's major items, as it contains 500 Pez dispensers, including the ultra rare Pez Super Spiel. Along its walls are Pez posters, many of which are very old, and several special poster displays that have been signed by famous individuals. In 2004, the museum expanded to include the Classic Toy Museum and in 2010 with the Banned Toy Museum.
Carrot Museum (Belgium)
Technically, this museum is completely online, but if you absolutely have to visit a location, go to Berlotte in Eastern Belgium where they have created and maintained the Carrot Club and Carrot Museum just for fun. Small in size, the village contains 30 houses, a chapel, and the abandoned electrical tower that now houses the carrot memorabilia. The tower is so small that visitors cannot enter the building, but only peep through a single window controlling a button near it that rotates the exhibits within. Outside the tower is a carrot clock, weather vane, and light. On the ground is a carrot shaped in stone. There is no staff, instead several men in the village are members of the Carrot Club, happily maintaining both the museum and arranging village gatherings in the summer.