There are some vacation spots that just make sense. The crystal clear waves of Hawaii, for instance, or the rich history and culture of Rome. These places are popular for a reason and they attract countless tourists every year.
Some tourist attractions, on the other hand, are downright strange. Whether they were built that way or were weird to begin with, these places will never stop piquing the curiosity of explorers far and wide.
1. Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret
Do you have a strong stomach? If so, this museum all about surgical history is for you. It contains an actual operating theatre from the 19th century, and Florence Nightengale, the mother of modern nursing, even used the building in 1859!
2. Prada Marfa
What’s a Prada store doing in the middle of nowhere? That’s a good question. This “store” is actually just a large sculpture located a few miles away from Valentine, Texas. The artists behind the project, Elmgreen and Dragset, never intended for it to be used, and hope for it to eventually break down and become part of the surrounding land.
3. Gnome Reserve and Wild Flower Garden
You’ve probably seen a front yard with a garden gnome or two, but what about an entire forest? Situated in Holsworth, England, this land contains upwards of 1,000 gnomes and pixies. You could spend an entire day trying to spot every single one!
4. Cockroach Hall of Fame Museum
While we tend to run away and scream when we see a roach, the folks at the Cockroach Hall of Fame Museum in Plano, Texas are a little friendlier with them. The museum features a number of elaborate cockroach displays, including one in where a roach poses like Liberace (“Liberoachi”), mini-candelabra and all.
5. The Fremont Troll
Don’t be scared – all this troll wants to do is bring the community together. Located underneath the George Washington Memorial Bridge in Seattle, Washington, this beloved sculpture delights tourists and locals every day. Observers are even allowed to climb on top of the troll!
6. Yunessun Spa Resort
That might look like a pool full of lime Jell-O, but, believe it or not, it’s actually green tea! This one-of-a-kind resort allows guests to bathe in pools of green tea, coffee, wine, and sake. Do you think they still add chlorine?
7. Paris Sewer Museum
People have been giving tours of the Paris sewers since 1889 and they’re still going strong today. What better way to learn about a city than where all of its waste ends up? If you’re looking for a souvenir, you can’t go wrong with one of the toy rats available at the gift shop.
8. Isla de Las Muñecas
For anyone who’s afraid of dolls, like me, this island in Mexico is your worst nightmare. Roughly 15 miles south of Mexico City, you’ll have to hop on a boat and explore some canals if you want to find this creepy island. Try not to let the dolls distract you from the beautiful nature that surrounds them.
9. The Upside-Down House
Constructed in 2014 and situated in the Chinese town of Fengjing, this tourist attraction wanted to be weird from the start. There’s an endless number of mind-bending pictures to be taken in a house where the floor is the ceiling.
10. The World’s Largest Chest of Drawers
Ever wondered where the BFG would store his clothes? Look no further than North Carolina’s enormous chest of drawers. It was built in 1926 as a way to show off the fact that North Carolina was considered the “Home Furniture Capital of the World.” To be honest, we didn’t even know that title existed, but congrats!
11. Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum
Every college student’s dream. Situated in Ikeda, Japan, this delicious museum teaches visitors about the history of the world’s cheapest and most beloved noodle.
12. The Big Pineapple
Just a big ol’ pineapple. The people of Bathurst, South Africa decided to build it after seeing a similar structure when they visited Australia in the 1990s.
Do you have dreams of visiting Stonehenge, but can’t afford the plane ticket? Alliance, Nebraska has the next best thing, aka Carhenge. Jim Reinders built Carhenge entirely out of old cars in honor of his father. If you are ever passing through Nebraska, admission to Carhenge is free!
14. Electric Ladyland
Don’t stare for too long or you might get a headache. This is the world’s “first museum of fluorescent art,” and it’s as funky as the name implies. Named after the album by The Jimi Hendricks Experience, Electric Ladyland allows visitors to become a part of the art by posing for photos in this huge room. You can find it in Amsterdam.
15. The Big Lobster
Otherwise known as Larry the Lobster, this tourist attraction in Kingston, South Australia looks like something Godzilla would fight.
16. Market Theater Gum Wall
Tucked away in an alley in downtown Seattle, this wall is as sticky as it sounds. Apparently, portions of the wall are caked in several inches of used gum. This is the one destination on our list where you can really leave your mark.
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