The statue of liberty, Yellowstone National Park, and Mount Rushmore are surely some of the most famous and visited tourist attractions in the US. But there are a handful of not very well known and strange sights that provide visitors with an alternative and offbeat experience.
There are literally hundreds of curious sites not likely to be included in any traditional travel booklet, so we’re going to list five here that really caught our attention.
International Cryptozoology Museum
Cryptozoology is a pseudoscience that studies rare animals from foklore, literature, and popular myths. And in Maine, giant beavers, mermaids, and a Sasquatch baby have all found a home.
Here you can find a wide range of exhibits with alleged real specimens as well as artistic depictions of the strangest creatures you’ve ever imagined. Curators have even incorporated a ‘Cryptoscatology’ section, which yeah you’ve guessed it, showcases the dumps of imaginary creatures.
The museum is located just a five-minute walk from the Portland Transportation Center. Admission is US$10 (AUS$13) for adults.
The Mütter Museum
Self-described as “America’s finest museum of medical history”, the Mütter Museum displays a collection of anatomical specimens deformed by disease or mutation, creepy 19th-century medical instruments, and more. Much more.
This unusual exhibit in Philadelphia attracts around 130,000 visitors every year and has been featured on a myriad of TV programs and specials.
Among its cabinets you can find a jaw tumor of US President Grover Cleveland, one of the tallest human skeletons displayed in the world today, and impressively, Einstein’s brain.
A tourist attraction definitively not for the squeamish, attendance is US$18 (AUS$23) for adults.
International UFO Museum
Spinning out of the infamous ‘Roswell incident’ in 1947, the International UFO Museum & Research Center collects almost every audiovisual material connected with the alleged UFO crash.
The museum calls itself as “the leading information source in history, science and research about UFO events worldwide.” Their exhibit is both indoor and outdoors and they even hold a yearly festival.
Located in 114 N Main St. Roswell, New Mexico, admission is US$5 (AUS$6.45).
MOBA, The Museum of Bad Art
Unlike MOMA, the Museum of Bad Art is dedicated to all those works just “too bad to be ignored.” Since 1994, their mission statement is to bring the worst of the worst to the biggest audience possible.
Their collection amounts to some 800 outstandingly awful pieces, exhibiting 50 to 70 at a time.
“MOBA is a small museum that celebrates the labor of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum.” they state on their official website.
Their main gallery is located in the basement of the Somerville Theater, and they have a smaller exhibit at the New England Wildlife Center. Admission to both galleries is completely free.
The Paper House
The Paper House is an actual house made from newspaper. No really. It was built in 1922 by a mechanical engineer, Mr. Elis F. Stenman, known for designing the machines that make paper clips.
Eventually, not only did he build the whole house but he made the furniture as well, turning what began as a summer hobby into a lifelong endeavor that produced an insanely intricate work of art.
The house is located in Rockport, and admission is US$2 (AUS$2.5) for adults.