17,400 Pounds of String

There is a song by Weird Al Yankovic called “The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota”. It tells of a family road trip to the eponymous tourist attraction. What makes this amusing ditty even funnier is that it actually exists. The town of Darwin, MN not only attracts tourists with this artifact, but has a Twine Day in its honour. To make this even more bizarre, it was once the largest ball of twine in the world, but no longer. In Cawker City, Kansas there is a larger ball of twine. In defense of Minnesota’s original it is the work of a single man, while the originator of Kansas’s record-holder died before surpassing the original achievement; others have made it the record breaker that it is today.

Giant balls of twine are not the only truly bizarre tourist “attractions” that exist in the US. I may work for a company that makes money from salvaged cars, but I would not wish to visit The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame/Museum. Then there is The Cockroach Hall of Fame, which looks odd when you see its name, but becomes truly surreal when you visit its website and find out the full details.

I challenge anyone reading this to find a museum or any other tourist attraction half as weird as these examples in the UK.

Thanks to Ken Levine’s blog for the inspiration for this post.

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Published in: on 13 December, 2007 at 20:20  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. May I offer:-

    British Lawnmower Museum – Southport, Lancashire
    Holds 400 types of lawnmower with the most expensive being the 1921 ATCO Standard 9 Blade.

    The Dog Collar Museum – Leeds Castle, Kent
    This has medieval and oriental dog collars from four centuries

    The Chester Museum of Salt. Salt has been produced in Cheshire for over 2,000 years and it is the only place in Britain where it is still produced on a large scale. The Salt Museum welcomes visitors of all ages and interests. There has been a Salt Museum in Northwich for over 100 years.

    The Cumberland Pencil Museum http://www.pencilmuseum.co.uk/ celebrating 175 years of pencil making here in Keswick in the heart of the Lake District. Enter the museum through a replica of the Seathwaite Mine, where graphite was first discovered, journey through the history of pencil making, marvel at the world’s longest pencil and finally relax in our coffee shop while the kids follow the quiz trail and express their creativity in the Drawing Zone.

    In fact, there’s a book on the topic of Strange Museums. http://www.strangestbooks.co.uk/strangestmuseums.html

  2. The dog collar museum actually sounds like fun. Leeds, you say?

    The lawnmower museum would appeal to Hank Hill.

  3. Leeds Castle, is actually in Kent, which puts it over 200 miles from the City of Leeds, and being a genuine Castle, would appeal to people of an american persuasion. http://www.leeds-castle.com http://www.leeds.gov.uk/

  4. The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices – found this link from a retro clothing shopping website. http://www.museumofquackery.com/.

    It’s not in the UK, but it’s almost worth a trip to Minnesota in winter.


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