There are some pretty wacky experiences to be had out there in the big wide world and we have collated a fascinating list of our favourite quirky rendezvous. We are sure some will churn your stomach, some will make you laugh and others will leave you thinking ‘what the?’
1. Meguro Parasitological Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Billing itself as the only establishment in the world entirely devoted to parasites, this quirky little museum has become a popular offbeat attraction – and even date spot – in the relatively quiet Meguro neighborhood of Japan’s sprawling capital. The ground floor might seem harmless enough – lights flash on oversized maps of Japan to show where different parasites are present – but go up the stairs and things take a more gruesome turn.
Photographs show the severely distended testicles of the unfortunate human host of a tropical bug. Nearby, a giant herpetological parasite pokes out of a bottled turtle’s head. The museum has over 45,000 immersed and prepared parasite specimens in its collection.
But the prize attraction is undoubtedly the world’s longest tapeworm – all 8.8 metres of it – accompanied by a rope the same length that you can ‘play with’ to get a real “feel” for its dimensions.
2. Break Club, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Break Club, a unique space that opened a couple of years ago. It offers a space where users can safely let loose their pent up aggression by destroying objects—items like glass bottles, computer monitors or television sets, which can either be brought in or purchased at the club. The entire set up of the Break Club is designed to take you out of your comfort zone. It has no storefront. You’re led through a narrow staircase to a cinderblock wasteland of old furniture and shards of broken glass and plastic. Clients don protective coveralls, heavy duty gloves and welding face-shields before they pick from a neatly lined up selection of bats, wrenches and other destructive implements.
3. Hair Museum, Avanos, Turkey
Avanos, a small town in the Cappodocian area of Turkey, has a history of ceramics and pottery dating back thousands of years. However, starting mere decades ago, a new site is generating interest. A pottery centre/guest house has created the Hair Museum. Calling it a museum may be a bit of a stretch as its “displays” are thousands of locks of hair, all from female visitors.
The story goes that the local potter was bidding farewell to a dear friend of his when he asked for something to remember her by. She cut off a piece of her hair to leave as a reminder. He put it up in his shop, and told the story to the visitors and tourists who passed through. Not to be outdone, other women who enjoyed the story left a piece of their hair as well.
The museum started in 1979 when a selection was put up for display. It now holds an estimated 16,000 samples by the museum’s own count and is included in the Guinness Book of World Records.
4. Karni Mata Temple, Deshnoke, Rajasthan, India
Karni Mata Temple is a popular and unusual holy shrine of India. This Temple is in the small town of Deshnok, which is located 30km south of Bikaner in Rajasthan. The Karni Mata Temple just may be one of India’s strangest attractions.
It houses thousands of rats, yes rats and pilgrims make regular trips to Deshnok to worship these long tailed rodents. The Goddess Karna Mata was a part of the Charin clan in her lifetime. She lived to be 150 years old and remained young and beautiful. After her death, she became a rat. The followers of the Charin believe that once they die, they too will be reincarnated as a rat. Subsequently, when a rat dies, it will be reincarnated as a human again, and so the cycle continues
These holy rodents are revered by their followers as the Charin People believe that the rats are their ancestors. Apparently even during the worst of the plague, the town of Deshnok was not affected. Worshippers make pilgrimages to the Karni Mata Temple not only to worship the rats, but to also heal their ailments.
5. Museum of Crutches, Naphthalan, Azerbaijan
The renowned health resort town of Naphthalan is known for its healing qualities – oil extracted from the land is supposed to cure all manner of ills. Accordingly, Naphthalan boasts the world’s only museum devoted to old crutches. All were supposedly left behind by sick people who came here and were suddenly cured, Monty Python-style, therefore requiring their aids no longer.
6. Ramen Noodle Bathing, Hakone, Japan
In Japan’s Hakone, the Yunessan Spa House is now offering ramen baths for its clientele. Patrons of the spa looking to give their skin a boost bathe in ramen pork broth and synthetic noodles. People are very concerned about having beautiful skin, and they know the effect of collagen, which is contained in the pork-based broth.
7. Icelandic Phallological Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland
The Icelandic Phallological Museum in Husavik bills itself as ‘probably the only museum in the world to contain a collection of phallic specimens belonging to all the various types of mammal found in a single country’.
Included in the museum are 283 ‘penises and penile parts’ belonging to 93 different species, including 55 specimens from 16 different kinds of whale, and one lifted off a ‘rogue polar bear.’ The museum notes that it ‘has also been fortunate enough to receive legally-certified gifts of four specimens belonging to Homo Sapiens.’ The museum aims not merely to titillate, but to advance the ‘ancient science’ of phallology, which examines how male genitalia have influenced history, art, psychology, and literature.
8. Island of the Dolls, Xochimilco, Mexico
Just south of Mexico City, between the canals of Xochimico you can find a small island with a sad background which never intended to be a tourist destination. The island is known as Isla de las Munecas (Island of the Dolls).
It is dedicated to the lost soul of a poor girl who met her fate too soon in strange circumstances. The area has thousands of people, but this small island is home to hundreds of terrifying dolls. Their severed limbs, decapitated heads, and blank eyes adorn trees. The dolls are threatening, even in the bright light of day, but in the dark, they are particularly disturbing.
It is said that a girl was found drowned in mysterious circumstances many years ago on this island and that the dolls are possessed by her spirit. Local legend says that the dolls move their heads and arms and even opened their eyes.
Some witnesses claim they had heard the dolls whispering to each other, while others who were on a boat near the island said the dolls lured them to come down to the island.
Of course these witnesses are exaggerating and the island is in no way possessed but the truth is that the Isla de las Munecas is a very creepy place that marks the casual visitor.
9. Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, India
A museum in New Delhi, which traces the history of the toilet for the past 4,500 years, has been ranked third among the world’s 10 weirdest museums by Time magazine.
From simple chamber pots to elaborately decorated Victorian toilet seats, you’ll see it all at Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, tracing the entire evolution of toilets throughout human history.
There’s even a toilet disguised as a bookcase, noted the magazine presenting “10 museums around the world that are anything but mundane” to celebrate International Museum Day. Do you also find it funny that out of all countries to have a toilet museum, India is the home of it?
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This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
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This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.