1. The Mutter Museum -- Philadelphia, PA
Pleasantly deemed “the World’s Finest Medical Museum,” the Mutter displays preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments, aiming to educate the public on the mysteries of the human body and the history of disease treatment -- but some exhibits may not be for the weak of heart. Check out the “wet specimens,” containing organs from every part of the human body, as well as parts that aren't supposed to be there, such as cysts and tumors. The Mutter American Giant is the museum’s 7-foot-6-inch standing skeleton – the largest in North America. You can also see pieces of Albert Einstein’s brain, cut 20 microns thick, or try and stare at the Soap Lady for more than an instant– her body was exhumed in Philadelphia in 1875, and is now preserved for your viewing (dis)pleasure.
2. The Cockroach Hall of Fame -- Phoenix, AZ
Started by exterminator specialist Michael Bohdan, this Hall of Fame hosts not only live Madagascar Hissing Roaches – sometimes 4 inches long – but dead creepy crawlies in costume. You can find Marilyn Monroach in her signature white dress, David Letterroach at his talk-show desk, and Liberroachie wailing away on the keys. If that’s not enough for you, try a delicious snack, such as BBQ flavored roach larvae and Mexican Worm snacks! YUM!
3. International UFO Museum and Research Center -- Roswell, NM
Public information officer Lt. Walter Haut, a participant in the infamous Roswell Incident, started the UFO Museum in the early 1990s as a way to educate the public on what happened in Roswell, 1947. The museum maintains a reputation of a serious research institution, but even for non-believers, it can be just as fun! Learn about crop circles, alien abductions, Area 51, and even an ancient Mayan sarcophagus lid from Mexico, which shows a man blasting off in a spaceship. Do you want to believe?
4. Leila's Hair Museum -- Independence, MO
Everyone spends time doing their hair – coloring, brushing, washing, combing, straightening and curling – but have you ever considered making jewelry out of it? Leila Cohoon started the museum in 1986, collecting unique hair from Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson, to four past U.S. presidents and religious reliquaries. The hair can be made into wreaths, jewelry, framed art, 3D designs and just about anything else Leila comes up with. If you have a particularly beautiful head of hair – be sure to hide it when entering Leila’s Museum!
5. International Cryptozoology Museum – Portland, ME
If aliens aren't your mythology of choice, try Portland’s International Cryptozoology Museum, featuring research and evidence supporting the existence of creatures from Big Foot and Yeti to mermaids and the Loch Ness Monster. Find letters from actor Jimmy Stewart claiming a Yeti encounter, hair samples from Big Foot, and fossils of the supposedly-mythical fish “coelacanth.” Do you believe these creatures exist? Let the evidence do the talking for you!