Museums don't have to be about dusty statues, ancient artifacts or quiet hallways filled with paintings. There are a few unusual museums in the world that focus on an obscure realm of science, a secret society, a single quirk of human existence or extensive collections of artifacts from bygone times.
When you're tired of the same old museum experience, here are a few creative locations that can inspire you again.
10 Cancun Underwater Museum of Art, Mexico
If you're in Cancun, museums probably aren't exactly the first thing on your mind. When it's time for a break from the Spring Break nightlife, grab your snorkel or scuba gear and head to the Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA), or the Underwater Museum of Art.
The "museum" covers an area near the shores of Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc and features a series of sculptures that aren't just amazing examples of contemporary art, but part of a much larger ecological project to help rebuild local coral reefs and create new ones.
9 Icelandic Phallological Museum, Iceland
Consisting of both a gallery and a series of exhibits, this is the only museum in the world entirely dedicated to the study of that certain male organ. Every mammal in Iceland has made a contribution to the museum, which is located in Reykjavik, a trending destination for more reasons that this museum.
The collection also includes some international specimens and more than 350 pieces of themed artwork and other oddities related to the mighty phallus.
8 International Banana Museum, United States
Who doesn't want to know more about everyone's favorite fruit? Even for those that aren't fans of that familiar yellow dessert garnish or sandwich filling, this quirky museum is both fun and fascinating. Located in Mecca, California, every single one of the 20,000 items in this one-room museum is related to bananas in some way.
That includes artwork, jewelry, accessories, clothing and much more. Of course, there's a small dessert shack adjacent to the museum where you can actually eat them. Visit just to be able to say that you've been to the world's largest display of bananas.
7 International Cryptozoology Museum, United States
Another museum that explores a little-known school of scientific thought, this non-profit museum is dedicated to the study of hidden or unknown animals. There's a lot of hard science here, as there are rare specimens and artifacts on display, but folklore and legend are included as part of the study.
Artwork related to the museum and cryptozoology, from old to new, is also preserved as part of the ongoing cultural study. The gift shop is a mix of art dedicated to fantastic creatures and the museum itself.
6 Cup Noodles Museum, Japan
Also known by the name of its founder as the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, this is exactly what you think it is, as implausible as that sounds. It turns out that the instant noodle has had a profound impact on human civilization, and this is a place to immerse yourself in the history and culture of this simple but amazingly popular dish.
There are two locations, one in Osaka Ikeda and the other in Yokohama, and both feature a hallway of "history cubes" that display ramen through the ages, an athletic park that simulates the experience of being a noodle and a style of modern art developed by Momofuku Ando.
5 Plastinarium, Germany
You might have heard of the Body World's exhibit that features preserved human and animal bodies in stages of 'plastination.' To see where this process originated and how it's done, in addition to seeing some original specimens, visit Plastinarium in Guben, Germany.
The location includes a real laboratory and includes seminars, lectures and workshops as to how the process works. Every visit to Plastinarium should include time in both the classroom and the gallery.
4 The Museum Of Sex, United States
Giggle if you have to, but this is a serious museum. You can easily integrate an afternoon at the Museum of Sex into any tour of Manhattan. The displays and exhibits are as much science as spectacle, such as one featuring the history of pornography.
Other points of interest include an inflatable castle made of breasts and a very unique gift shop. This isn't exactly appropriate for kids, but for a honeymooning couple or a weekend party with the girls in the city, it's perfect.
3 Coral Castle Museum, United States
A nice diversion if you're looking for a place to visit that could only exist in Florida. Legend has it that the creator of the museum, Ed Leedskalnin, built the original Coral castle in secret, under the cover of a single night using supernatural abilities. What really happened is that the entire site was put together over a period of 30 years between 1923 and 1951.
The castle itself was constructed using coral and rock. All of the interior artwork has its own story. The house contains a telescope, rocking chairs and other accessories that are entirely made of stone.
2 The House on the Rock, United States
Officially, this is an attraction and not a museum. After you see the place, however, you'll refer to it as a museum. Alex Jordan started building a hilltop retreat in 1945 and used it to collect his various quirky collections. These included (but were not limited to) stain-glass fixtures, full-size music boxes, carousels, and vintage furniture.
The original house itself is a relic of creative architecture and daring style. The sprawling property also contains a resort, but you can visit the museum separately.
1 Museum of Vampires and Legendary Creatures, France
The displays here represent the life, times and main preoccupation of Jacques Sirgent, an expert on the undead. Hear tales of vampires, witches and other agents of evil intertwined with the ancient history of Paris.
Even finding the place is a creepy maze. Find one of the gravel paths in the neighborhood of Les Lilas in Paris and follow it to the center, where it leads through a mock cemetery decorated with occult symbols and real human remains. The museum includes displays of books, artifacts, clothing and various other accessories connected with the mythical inhabitants of Paris.