An homage to Stonehenge made of classic cars. A museum devoted to instant noodles. A gnome reserve. We track down some of the world’s wackiest tourist attractions.
1. Thailand’s Hell Garden
The sign that greets visitors entering this sculpture garden pretty much says it all: “Welcome to Hell.” The Wang Saen Suk’s “hell garden” depicts, in garish detail, the punishments in store for those who transgress in life. If the statues are to be believed—with impaling, transfiguration, and disemboweling all represented—the tortures for sinners are pretty gruesome, so you might want to bank a few good deeds before you visit.
2. California’s Life-Size Dinosaurs
With just two life-size residents, the World’s Biggest Dinosaurs don’t exactly rival Jurassic Park. But if you ever wanted a T. Rex’s-eye-view of California, climb up into Mr. Rex—all four stories—and gaze through his teeth to the world beyond. Mr. Rex’s counterpart is Ms. Dinny, a 150-foot-long, 150-ton model of an Apatosaurus. Claude K. Bell designed the pair, and since his death in 1988, the World’s Biggest Dinosaurs have been taken over by a religious group who also set up a Creationist museum at the site.
3. Japan’s Ramen Museum
Those inexpensive instant noodles got you through those college all-nighters—surely they’re worthy of their own museum, right? The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum pays tribute to the Cup Noodles founder and his creations. Visitors can see a reproduction of the shack where Momofuku Ando first invented Chicken Ramen, explore an exhibition about instant noodles all over the world, and, of course, visit a tasting room of different Nissin products, giving visitors a sampling of flavors that might not be sold in their region.
4. Iceland’s Phallus Museum
It’s “members only” here: The Icelandic Phallological Museum hosts a collection of more than 200 phallic specimens representing almost every mammal in the country. Simply put, if you ever wanted to see a whale penis in a jar, this is the place to do it. The museum is currently the subject of a documentary, The Final Member, about two (brave?) souls competing to be the first human specimen.
5. South Africa’s Big Pineapple
There’s no better place to look out over the Eastern Cape’s pineapple industry than from the top-floor observation deck of this nearly 55-foot-high fiberglass pineapple. After checking out the 360-degree view, visitors can watch a film about the area’s agriculture, or head to the ground floor to buy pineapple jam and chutney.
Check out more wacky exhibits around the globe.
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