Wherever you are in the world, people are always interested in exploring bizarre attractions – which is why the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! franchise is still going strong and opening a new Odditorium museum in Mexico.
Looking back, I probably owe my not-so-secret passion for all things weird to a childhood visit to the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! museum in Great Yarmouth, sadly no longer with us. From elephant-headed boys to mutant animals, it was a jaw-dropping experience, and the Ripley’s museum in London is even more astounding – not that that should really come as a surprise. Included in the 500 exhibits across its five floors are real dinosaur eggs and a model of Tower Bridge made entirely of ordinary matchsticks – 264,345 to be very precise!
I just learned that Ripley’s now operates 30 such museums all around the world, all with unique spectacles to offer. So if oddities are your thing too, you might not have to travel far – there could be an Odditorium in a city near you! Mexico alone is now home to three of them, with the new opening at Veracruz featuring such stand-out attractions as an eight-foot-tall horse made entirely of car bumpers – which I guess gives you a good idea whether this is your kind of thing or not. I must admit, it makes a trip to Mexico that little bit more enticing – maybe I should even pay a visit to the creepy Island of the Dolls after all?
Ripley’s attractions have been drawing crowds since Robert LeRoy Ripley himself debuted his collection of oddities at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, and the museums always offer something different for visitors. Take the Odditorium in Orlando, which is built at an odd angle as if the building is sinking. Be careful finding your way around in that one!
Hot on the heels of the Mexico opening, the 31st Odditorium is set to open in Australia’s Surfer’s Paradise in late January, showing that the Ripley’s franchise is still going strong, and hinting that the key to fighting the recession may be to focus on the irresistible urge to seek out the weird and wonderful… believe it or not!