The 9 Strangest Personal And Museum Collections

While the rest of us work our normal 9-to-5s, there are people out there whose whole lives are dedicated to the most useless ephemera and worthless garbage imaginable. Want to see more oddities and aberrations? Check out the new season of “Taboo,” which looks closer at things that we look away from, Sundays at 10PM on the National Geographic Channel.

1. Penis Collection at the Icelandic Phallological Museum

The Icelandic Phallological Museum has a rock-solid collection of over 280 specimens from 93 different species of animals. The museum was erected in 1997, and gets about 12,000 visitors every year. The museum even boasts an impressive collection of penises from Icelandic mythology and folklore, including the penis of “The Nasty Ghost of Snæfell.”

3. Carol Vaughn’s Soap Bar Collection

Carol Vaughn started collecting soap bars in 1991 after her mother died, and today has more than 5,000 kinds from all over the world. She claims she never uses any of them on herself, and says “I suppose you could say I do get myself in a lather when I see a soap I really like, it’s great to add it to the collection.”

4. Graham Barker’s Navel Lint Collection

Graham Barker started his collection in 1984, while staying at a youth hostel in Brisbane, Australia. Since then, it has grown to over 22 grams (about the same weight as a steel-tipped dart). After filling three jars, he sold his collection to a museum, but has started his collection over again.

5. Becky Martz’s Banana Sticker Collection

Becky Martz’s banana sticker collection was started over 20 years ago, and has grown to over 11,720 different banana labels since. A large part of her collection comes from trading with other banana label collectors around the world. In addition to banana labels, Becky also collects asparagus and broccoli bands, which you can also see on her website.

7. Deborah Henson-Conant’s Burnt Food Collection And Museum

According to her website, Deborah Henson-Conant “founded” the Burnt Food Museum in Arlington, Massachusetts “in the late 1980’s one night when Deborah put on a small pot of Hot Apple Cider to heat, then received an unexpected … fascinating … and very long phone call.” The museum is now home to hundreds of charred specimens.

9. Luke Underwood’s Collection Of McDonald’s Toys

Luke Underwood has collected more than 7,000 promotional items from McDonald’s happy meals. He supposedly has the largest collection in all the UK, but we’re not faulting him for it because he sold some of it for $10,000.

10. The Poop Collection At The Himeji Museum Of Literature

Sadly, this “special exhibit” at The Museum Of Literature in Himeji, Japan has closed. But, while it was still open, tourists could see a wide range of dung from the animal world, including zebra poop, rabbit poop, hippopotamus poop, giraffe poop, and elephant poop.

11. Mike Campbell’s Vibrator Collection

Ranging from big to small, from hand-cranked to electric, Mike Campbell of Ann Arbor, Michigan has collected a wide array of “personal massagers.” According to Mike, vibrators were the fifth home appliance to be electrified, and they were originally invented to treat “hysteria” in women.

12. The Mutter Museum’s Collection Of Medical Oddities

The Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania contains over 20,000 medical oddities from the past 200 years that were originally designed to aid doctors and medical students. The collection contains swallowed items removed from people, the skeleton of conjoined twins, and a huge excised colon.

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