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Why I love weird museums: St. Petersburg edition


weird museum

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I love to visit unusual and weird museums. It can surprise and even shock you in ways a regular museum never could. It’s often in a drafty, dusty old building that smells like a proper museum, with high ceilings, filled with curiosities and devices you’ve never seen or even knew about. It doesn’t have fancy audio tours, just a scruffy leaflet printed on cheap paper, and that’s the way it should be.

There is just something about a quirky and weird museum that gets me super excited. Ever since I was young I’ve always wanted my own collection of curiosities. So far I’ve collected one mummified mouse. It’s in an air tight box and I’m too afraid to open it.

St. Petersburg has a lot of museums. The most well-known is the Hermitage of course. We could have gone there, but instead we went to the Zoological Museum. If you like taxidermy, animals or weird things, this is the place for you. It’s one of the ten largest natural history museums in the world. The crazy collection consists of over 17 million species, although only 500 thousand species are displayed. The rest of the animals are kept in a huge storage facility.

Being in a Russian museum can be slightly overwhelming. Hell, being in Russia can be slightly overwhelming. Russians are not known for their friendly and helpful nature. Upon entering the museum all English signs disappear and you are left alone in a ginormous museum with no idea what to do, where to go or how to get out.

I’m not sure what happened when they were preparing the animals. Maybe the taxidermist drank too much vodka but most animals have a weird grin on their face. Most fish look shocked and a lot of the bigger animals (deers, bears) look very angry. There was a little Bambi like deer that looked like it was about to fuck me up.

What is your favorite weird museum?