Unusual museums around the world that are worth a visit

Thế Anh
03:00:52 - May 14, 2022

Unusual museums around the world that are worth a visit

When one talks about the subject of museums, images of an old, prestigious building filled with historical artifacts or expensive art pieces would be the impression of most people. They might be culturally meaningful, but unless you’re in cities with famous museums that are heavily invested, like the Lourve, Tate, or Uffizi, most common museums are hardly exciting places to visit for a lot of people.

Maybe the classics are not meant for everybody, but perhaps, there are still museums out there that might catch your interest – ones that collect strange, potentially absurd artifacts. These “bizarre” museums are often smaller than traditional ones and can be fully explored in under an hour, promising a fun, fascinating experience that can reignite your passion for history. Journey with Destination Review and discover the world of unusual museums, where you can eat ramen, dive into the deep ocean or look at ugly arts. 

Cancun Underwater Museum of Art, Cancun, Mexico

This could be the only museum in the world that requires visitors to don scuba gears to fully experience everything it has to offer. Established in 2009, the Cancun Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA) was the result of a project to create an artificial reef and helps in recovering marine and coral life in the Isla Mujeres and Cancún areas – through the use of eco-friendly artificial structure, with an emphasis on the “art” part of the “artificial”. Before that, the natural coral reefs here have been badly damaged by tourists, divers, and ships’ anchors. 

The museum is home to about 500 sculptures that were dropped to the bottom of the ocean and left for mother nature to reclaim, ranging from statues of people to sculptures of cars. visitors will have to dive down about 9 m if they want to see these majestic works of art or watch the local marine life.

For beginner and certified divers, the museum offers diving and snorkeling tours through its official website, with the latter being a bit less scary and cheaper than scuba diving. For museum-goers who do not intend to get themselves wet or don’t know how to dive, they can still enjoy looking at the local wildlife and sculptures by boarding on the museum’s glass-bottom boat. 

Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia

If you’ve recently gone through a heartbreak, and want to do something else instead of listening to sad music, brooding, and non-stop binge eating, why not try a visit to the Museum of Broken Relationships and torture yourself even further by looking at painful reminders of other failed lovers.

Located in the city of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. The Museum of Broken Relationships was established in 2010 and had since continued to dedicate itself to showcasing personal objects that were left from failed relationships, each comes with a short little writing on the object’s significance to the now-broken couple, and the story of how they broke up. The objects in the museum vary greatly, from mundane furniture like dolls, and framed pictures, to household appliances like bottle openers, and clothes iron, everything here comes with a sad story to tell. 

Funnily, or tragically, the museum was founded by a pair of Croatian artists, who decided on this concept after ending their four-year-long union. “It’s a metaphorical space to put things behind you but still leave a trace this relationship existed, that it mattered to me,” – explained one of the founders on why the place came to be. 

Museum of Bad Art, Sommerville, Massachusetts

Art museums are meant to be places that showcase masterpieces, or at least, works that artists have put a lot of time and effort into making (though the state of modern art would suggest the opposite.) On the other hand, The Museum of Bad Art (MOBA), prides itself in one of the worst works that the art community has to offer, perhaps this is a case of “so bad it’s good” that has given the establishment a lot of popularity among many art connoisseurs?

Founded way back in 1993, currently located in Sommerville, Massachusetts. The founder had established this place with a noble goal “to celebrate the labor of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum”. The museum now collects over 700 different art pieces that are “too bad to be ignored.”

When it comes to how the museum managed to obtain these “subjectively horrendous” pieces of art, Michael Frank, the museum’s curator-in-chief, said: “Some are pieces left out by the trash on pickup day, others were found at thrift stores and yard sales or were gifts that were no longer wanted, and some even come from the artists themselves,” 

Ramen museum, Yokohama, Japan

A museum that also doubles as a theme park/ food court. The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum is a tasty establishment founded in 1994 dedicated to preserving the history and flavors of Japan’s most famous noodle dish by turning an entire basement into a miniature ramen street, filled with little shops that sell actual home-made ramen for hungry passersby.

Besides slurping delicious noodles, visitors can check out the freely available cookbooks and plastic replicas of famous ramen dishes. On the tour, guests will learn more about the development of ramen throughout japan’s history. Not just the dish itself, but every single ingredient like the broth, noodles, and toppings. 

Out of all the museums on this list, this might be the only place where you might have to revisit a lot of time to fully experience everything the museum has to offer, the typical stomach can only contain so much ramen in one day, after all. 

Tarot museum, Can Tho, Vietnam 

In the city of Can Tho, lies a museum about tarot reading – a form of traditional fortune telling that has its roots in European culture, using decks of cards to tell about a person’s past, present, and future. The art has become very popular among young Vietnamese since 2009 and has since gone on to form a very sizable community. Some groups even go so far as to create tarot decks that are inspired by Vietnamese culture. Even if tarot reading sounds like a fluke, many people are still drawn to this form of fortune reading thanks to its overall aesthetic and symbolism. 

More than 2000 different artifacts are stored in this establishment, ranging from ancient scrolls, and books about Tarot cards, to the various cards printed throughout the years. One of the oldest artifacts here is over 300 years old. The museum was recognized in 2020 to be Vietnam’s “biggest tarot and oracle cards collection that is available for the public to see.”

Museum Kimchikan, Seoul, Korea

In Seoul, Korea, there is a museum for those who are interested in this tasty, 1500-years old delicacy, called the Museum Kimchikan. Established back in 1986, It was recognized as Korea’s first food museum, where people can learn about the long history of kimchi and the interesting process behind making and preserving this nationally beloved food. In 2015, It was chosen by CNN to be one of the world’s best food museums. 

At the Museum Kimchikan, visitors can view the intriguing fermentation process under a microscope, watch historical documentaries, and taste a wide variety of different kimchi. Make sure to ready your taste buds, as there are currently 180 different kimchi across the world (though we’re sure that they only serve a few of them to guests and visitors.)

Museums aren’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea, not a lot of tourists would be willing to waste their time on a trip just to yawn non-stop for an entire day. However, If you’re already in these locations, why not take the time to have a look. A few trips down the rabbit holes of niche hobbies and bad arts might be what you need to gain a newfound appreciation for the more mundane historical artifacts.

Unusual museums around the world that are worth a visit

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