One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – allegedly. Hidden among the posh mews of Notting Hill, not far from Portabello Road, there is a museum dedicated to all things brand related. Not so weird you might think, until you learn that the London Museum of Brands, Advertising and Packaging is actually an exhibition of household clutter hoarded by one man over several decades – starting with a packet of chocolate Munchies! Credit where its due, the hoard does include a number of cult toys from the 80’s, but, you can see all this and more within museums that don’t chart the history of soap powder boxes! We’re all in favour of preserving artefacts of interest for posterity, but some of these museums just take things too far. Here are a few more of the world’s quirkiest curated collections!
The Bunny Museum,
Los Angeles, California
If you’re a leporiphobe, or even slightly perturbed by the presence of hundreds of bunny eyes staring at you accusingly from behind glass cases, you may want to steer clear of Pasadena’s Bunny Museum. Ranked the world’s foremost strangest museum by Travel and Leisure magazine, this former condo located on the affluent Jefferson Drive is now a Graceland-style attraction paying tribute to every kind of rabbit (real and fictional) you can think of. Conceived by bunny mad collectors Candace Frazee and Steve Lubanski, the exhibition boasts in excess of 28,000 porcelain caricatures, prints, toys, and other paraphernalia. Some of it is actually quite interesting – particularly the older Disney and Warner memorabilia, but there are also sections which are downright creepy, like the section devoted to soft toys. If you really feel compelled to drop by, look for the humongous running bunny positioned out front – so big, it has become a regional landmark!
Iceland Phallological Museum,
Given the cult obsession with all things phallus shaped, it’s little wonder there aren’t more museums around the globe devoted to certain.. ahem, parts of the male anatomy.
The Phallological Museum in Reykjavík,bills itself as the only museum of its kind in the world to showcase the phalluses of all mammals native to one country – including a “rogue” polar bear. And what a collection it is. Over 200 phalluses make up the collection at Iceland’s Phallological Museum; some mounted upon wooden wall plates like antlers, others exhibited proudly within various sized glass jars containing some kind of clear preservative liquid. Worryingly, there are also one or two labelled “human”. By far the most impressive exhibit is the Blue Whale phallus, measuring in at a whopping 6 feet in length!
Siriraj Medical Museum (Museum of Death),
Paris has its catacombs, Italy, the grisly remains of Pompeii; nearly every city has some kind of morbidly intriguing attraction to fascinate newbie visitors, and Bangkok is no exception. Located within the bustling Siriraj Hospital in downtown Bangkok Noi, the wacky Museum of Death has long been a place of grisly intrigue for visitors, most notably because it proudly displays the mummified remains of Si Quey, Thailand’s first convicted serial killer (and cannibal). The museum’s unnamed founder has also offered himself up for the eternal role of greeting visitors to the museum; his grinning skull mounted on the wall right opposite the entrance. Grisliness aside, the museum is actually a fascinating place to discover what really happens to the human body in the throes of death. Donated remains showcase the damage caused by a single bullet, as well as the extent of mutilation that can be caused by a landmine explosion. Those of a weak disposition may want to skip the macabre section devoted to children and young infants.
The Salabh International Museum of Toilets,
New Delhi, India
Do you know what people used before the porcelain throne was invented? Charting the humble evolution of the lavatory from its hole-in-the-ground origins, this quirky museum in bustling New Delhi has spawned plenty of Delhi Belly jokes among visitors over the years. Luckily for founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, it’s exactly the kind of reaction he wants to his quirky set-up, which aside from being an educational timeline, is also intended to raise awareness about the problems with sanitation in New Delhi’s poorest areas. It may not be the most fascinating museum on earth, but there are some interesting exhibits, including a chamber pot alleged to date back to 2,500 B.C, a replica of the “throne” of French King Louis XIII, and even a self-cleaning Microwave Toilet!
Fredericks Celebrity Lingerie Hall of Fame,
Ever wondered what happens to Madonna’s risqué brassieres post world tour? Wonder no more. Fredericks of Hollywood, the same store that first carried push-up bras and thongs in the 50’s, has been secretly hoarding celebrity underwear for over twenty-five years. From the skimpy briefs of Baywatch stars, to the well worn boxers of Tom Hanks during his stint as Forrest Gump, this remarkable museum boasts an astounding collection of celebrity drawers and lingerie.
Notable exhibits include Judy Garland’s nightgown from “Presenting Lili Mars”, Ava Gardner’s petticoat worn for her role in “Show Boat”, Cher’s brassieres, and a selection of items from Mae West’s top drawer!