Atlas's Picks: Top 5 Unique Museums
Updated: Dec 27, 2022
While traveling, I love to visit museums. There are so many different types of museums out there! They can cover everything from typical museum fields like art, history, science, etc., to more unique concepts. Some specialize in obscure subjects, such as cryptozoology, and some show us an entirely different world in which we live in, but simply cannot see.
Here are some unique museums that I came across in my travels.
The Cancun Underwater Museum, Mexico
When you think of museums, “underwater” is not the first thing that comes to mind. The Cancun Underwater Museum is the largest underwater museum in the world. It features sculptures created by local artists, surround (and in some cases consumed) by the natural reefs and ocean life.
Visitors can scuba dive through the different sections of the museum, snorkel, or, if being underwater isn’t your thing, they also offer glass floor boat tours.
Micropia offers guests a look into another world—a world that's around us (and inside us) but we can’t see it without the power of microscopes.
Micropia showcases microbes associated with illness, disease, and everyday life. It features both living microbes and virtual representations. Micropia is not only a museum, but a research center, providing a space for school and college students to learn about microbiology.
Visitors can view bacteria that live in and on the body, fungi that consumes dead insects, and understand how microbes, good or bad, affect our lives and the ecosystems we live in.
Siriraj Medical Museum, Thailand
The Siriraj Medical Museum was originally the oldest medical institute in Thailand. Over the years, various pieces of equipment and documents were gathered in order to put together the museum.
Today, it's used as a learning center for students and the public, but it's also known under a different name: the Death Museum. Featuring preserved skeletons, deformed babies kept in formaldehyde and severed limbs and organs, this institution allows insight into every facet of the human body—in all it's shapes, forms, and sizes.
The facility consists of several different museums, each one having its own concentration in medicine: from forensics and pathology to parasitology and the evolution of medicine throughout Thailand.
International Cryptozoology Museum, United States
While most museums feature artifacts, sculptures, paintings, or possessions of former civilizations, this facility is home to something different. The International Cryptozoology Museum showcases creatures out of legends, myths, and unverified animals. There are life-sized models of animals, such as the coelacanth and thylacine (the Tasmanian tiger), and remarkable pieces of evidence of mysterious cryptids. Some items on exhibit include hair samples of the Abominable Snowman and Bigfoot, fecal matter from a small Yeti, and a footprint cast taken during an alleged thylacine encounter. The museum holds over 10,000 items and brings to life the creatures we thought were only present in fiction.
Museum of Broken Relationships,
Croatia and United States
This museum is literally full of stories. The Museum of Broken Relationships is home to possessions from heartbroken lovers, usually accompanied by a short story describing the significance of the item. The museum started as a travelling collection of donated material, initially as a joke, but has since found permanent residence with rising donations.
These possessions aren’t stereotypical either—items range from hairdryers, porcelain dolls, espresso machines, to belly button lint, scabs, and dreadlocks. The idea behind the museum is peculiar, but perhaps it offers consolation to other people that having your heart broken is a universal experience; everyone’s story differs, yet the feeling of heartbreak is the same.
Museums give us an in-depth glimpse into different subjects and cultures. They show us what the world has to offer, what people are interested in, and what’s considered worth preserving and educating the public about.
There are so many elements to human interest—such vast topics and material to understand, some of which we may never have thought of! Museums act as bridges to different fields, communities, and aspects as to what makes humans, humans. After all, isn’t the purpose of life to open our minds and learn as much as possible?
That's all for now,