Top 10 Macabre Museums
Warning: Disturbing Images
Are you the kind of person who likes to go to museums? You might change your mind once you have visited some of these totally macabre keepers of the dead. To imagine that there is so much pain and suffering in this world and to be grateful that it has not happened to you are just a few of the feeling you can leave these museums with as you try to find your way back to the safety and sanity of your life. Good luck with that.
The place is the School of Medical Sciences in Sydney, Australia. The museum is the host for thousands of glass jars with slabs of diseased flesh. Most of the diseases of mankind are floating in these small glass tombs. There are new diseases that are still being discovered or unraveled and rare diseases that have been cured or controlled, like diphtheria. Many of these diseases are extremely educational. If you want an incentive to quit smoking, check out the jar with the floating black lungs in it, a disgusting tribute to a lifelong smoker. There are tapeworms and other parasites that invade the human body on display that are very useful for the aspiring medical student. If you plan to visit this wonderful museum of death and despair, it might be wise to forego breakfast or lunch. On the other hand, eat a huge meal the day before because you will not want to eat anytime soon afterwards. Just ask any of the more than ten thousand visitors the museum gets each year.
Well that cuts it. Japan could be the last piece of land still afloat and I would not set foot on it. Apparently, it is home of a plethora of parasites, any one of which could get into your body and wreak havoc. I have to admit that I was slightly disturbed by the pictures of the various kinds of parasites in Japan and the descriptions of what they can do. I was a little unnerved by the rope next to the tapeworm jar that gives visitors a feel of exactly what having a record-breaking 30-foot long tapeworm in your body would be like once removed and stretched out.
I was holding my own, until, that is; I viewed the video on the last picture on the website. I lost any edge that I might have had on my nerves as my “freak-me-out-o-meter” registered in the red when I viewed the parasite that got into some poor Japanese guys balls. His penis and nut sack had swollen down past his knees. Why on God’s green earth any man would allow a parasite to survive in his pearl pouch long enough to get that size is beyond my level of understanding. The majority of men I know will sprint to the doctor’s office if our twins twitch the wrong way, let alone become swollen beyond the size of basketballs. If you are a fan of the parasite, this is the place for you.
Austin, Texas, USA
Austin Texas is the home of the Museum of the really, really weird. The origin of the dime museum, it started as a curio shop that accumulated some pretty strange items, so strange, in fact, that they pretty much had to open the museum because no one would purchase the merchandise but everyone wanted to see it. With so much traffic in the store, it only made sense so they charged a dime per visit. They have a Cyclops pig, several two headed animals, and the legendary Fiji Mermaid! (For more on the Fiji Mermaid, see: http://thelistcafe.com/top-ten-lists/bizarre/10-unbelievable-animals-for-a-good-reason here on Listcafe!) They even have real shrunken heads and live lizards. This museum is a true piece of Americana.
Many of the articles in this museum are the life collections of Cesare Lombroso. His inspiration for the museum came to him as he studied the brain of a murderer. He realized that the characteristics of the brain in hardened criminals are different from that of a normal brain. (I wonder if he had that backwards and the normal are the anomalies.) From that moment on, he collected heads, skulls, and the weapons and tools used by many of the killers of the day. Other museums that believed and supported his strange theories also sent to him some of their most valuable pieces. His belief was that the white race was the only race that has completely evolved and that the black race had evolved the least. If he were around today to express that theory, I would have smacked him myself. The prize possession in the museum today is the head of Cesare Lombroso, perfectly preserved and floating in a jar. Justice, it seems, can be poetic.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Peter the Great started this Museum of Medical Oddities in 1714 in an effort to bring Russia out of the dark ages of superstition. While many of his people thought that bad luck and curses existed and that some unfortunate luck were the work of demons or evil, Pete knew that they were simply medical problems and could be treated if studied and understood. He wanted to show that bringing these things to the light of day, cataloging them, and studying them would take some of the mystery from them. The museum is home to children who died at birth from defects and disease that were not really treatable then. Unfortunately, people are not so easily swayed and he had to offer free alcohol to get anyone to visit. He also issued a proclamation that any malformed births be brought to the museum. So if you had the unfortunate luck as to have a stillborn mutant, take it to the museum and get plastered. I cannot imagine going to a museum to look at a floating penis or some conjoined twins while sipping on a beer or martini. I wonder if he offered free barf bags.