Strange museums of the world

You might think museums are boring attractions full of the same old dusty artefacts, but here Edmund gives you a run-down of the strangest and most wonderful museums across the world…

Please forgive the jarring tone of this piece, some museums are great because they are amusing, while others are great because of their solemnity. The following are some of the world’s finest, but perhaps not the most well known museums.

Cup Noodle Museum, Osaka, Japan. Dedicated to Momofuku Ando, this museum lauds his inventions and achievements. In 1959, he created the world’s first instant noodles when he manufactured instant chicken ramen. In 1971 he also created ‘Cup Noodles’. The museum features a Cup Noodle vending machine, which is a highlight of gimmicky Japanese vending machines in that it actually makes sense. Simply buy your cup, and add hot water with the built-in tap. You now have noodles.

Questacon, Canberra, Australia. Also known as the National Science and Technology Centre, Questacon is a certain stop for the countless school children who get ferried from around Australia to Canberra to ‘see the nation’s capital’. Questacon is a gem, however, containing earthquake simulations, Tesla coils, a freefall slide, and a rotation of science exhibitions.

Move over London Science Museum. Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia. This is a museum that is as entertaining as it is validating and depressing. The premise is simple: people submit artefacts that symbolise their broken relationship, romantic or otherwise, and leave an anonymous blurb divulging as much as they care to tell. Admissions include an axe that belonged to a woman who, having being left abruptly for another woman, spent the two weeks her ex took to reclaim his belongings, to axe a piece of furniture daily, until there was nothing left. Also featured: ‘the Toaster of Vindication’. When a four year relationship ended, they stole their ex’s toaster. If you have a relationship that hasn’t quite had the closure you feel necessary, they take submissions.

Ravelnik Museum, Bovec, Slovenia. Near the remote Slovene town of Bovec, in the Slovene Alps, there’s a museum by the river Soča, dedicated to the Isonzo front of WWI. For two and a half years the Italian and multi ethnic Austro-Hungarian armies murdered each other by the hundreds of thousands, trading nothing but a few mountains. War museums often miss the mark, distorting history to fit a national narrative. All marble and grandeur, heroic statues, waving kids, flags flying as history is twisted because we can’t stand the idea that everyone’s loss was for nothing. “No” says a little museum at the Soča; not here. There’s no staff, no gift shop, no entry fee, no audio tour. There’s just the remnants of a bloody and pointless battlefield, and a few signs to say ‘here are the walls where men were blown apart. Here are the caves they cowered in, here are the dugouts they cried in, the beds they sweated in, and the holes they died in. Here is where boys died for nothing’.

Edmund Goldrick

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