In what has become a summer tradition for IgoUgo, Reuters and MSNBC are featuring 10 of our members’ favorite strange (but true!) things to do. Here’s the list, and your reasons for recommending each oddball attraction.
Sulabh International Museum of Toilets
“Synonymous with public loos in India,” says phileasfogg, the Sulabh company also runs “Delhi’s wackiest museum.” A tour is “great fun” and provides insight into the history of hygiene, from 2500 BC to the present. Walls of offbeat photos, one-of-a-kind toilets, and intimate trivia will bowl you over.
Texas Prison Museum
Even locals confess to “really enjoying” this museum, run by former prison employees. Among its star attractions are “Old Sparky,” a decommissioned electric chair; a contraband exhibit; and a collection of items from the Texas Prison Rodeo and Bonnie and Clyde death car. On your way out, stop by what txag_girl calls a “really neat gift shop” for inmate-crafted items.
Peabody Duck March
It’s quite a party in the hotel lobby each day at 11am and 5pm when five mallards and their human Duckmaster complete a red-carpet waddle from the Peabody’s fountain to its elevator (and vice versa). What began as a joke in 1933 is now a time-honored tradition at all three Peabody locations (Orlando and Little Rock are the newer additions). Duck teams change every three months, but according to Vanilla Sugar, the ducks always “wiggle their tail feathers and sprinkle startled kids with water.”
Rock Islands, Palau
Even experienced divers and snorkelers like globe trotter call this dive site “the weirdest experience” in all their years. As seen on Survivor, the water is “thick” with non-stinging jellyfish; swimmers can float among the normally threatening creatures, and even “hold them,” without getting stung. It’s “counterintuitive” but thrilling, and completely painless.
Isla La Roqueta, Mexico
A short hop from Acapulco by boat, Isla La Roqueta is known for its beaches and los burros borrachos. The latter have “developed a taste for cold beer,” says Tio Gringo, and are frequent fixtures at restaurant tables as they “try to bum brewskis.” Visitors liken them to the ponies on Assateague Island in Maryland, except with “chug-a-lug” habits when it comes to Coronas.
Haines Shoe House
Since its construction in the late 1940s, the house of Mahlon “Shoe Wizard” Haines has been a “must-see for shoe fetishists or kitschy-Americana enthusiasts,” says aku. An “architectural oddity” built in the shape of a giant shoe, it has served as an advertising gimmick, a haven for honeymooners, an ice cream parlor, a private home, and now an attraction open for tours.
Joe’s Scarecrow Village
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Like visitor tvordj declares, it’s debatable whether this collection of scarecrows—including straw versions of Queen Elizabeth II, Margaret Thatcher, and Ronald Reagan—is “creepy or fabulous,” but it’s definitely unique. Located in Cap Le Moine, the dozens of figures are “clever, quirky, and something a little different” for those driving the Cabot Trail.
Christ of the Abyss at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Key Largo, Florida
The 9-foot sculpture photographed by wreckdiva is a main attraction of America’s first undersea park and “a popular site for diving and undersea weddings” (as is the twin that's submerged near Genoa, Italy). If diving to 20 feet below the water’s surface isn’t your preferred method of sightseeing, however, there’s a third version of Guido Galletti’s statue on land in St. Georges, Grenada.
Wanaka, New Zealand
New Zealand’s South Island offers no shortage of dramatic peaks, but you “can’t miss” the plastic Leaning Tower of Wanaka as it tilts at a 53-degree angle in front of Puzzling World’s repository of “weird and wonderful stuff.” Enjoy “freaky” illusion rooms and a difficult maze in a place where, according to Orl, even “the toilets are a lesson in perspective.”
Picturesque Roslyn, Washington, has staged its share of quirky celebrations—years past saw the Manly Man Festival and the Wing Ding Parade—but the town is most famous as the onetime set of the TV show Northern Exposure. And every summer, devoted fans of the ’90s series arrive at Moosefest to pay homage to Roslyn, “bop around town recognizing sets,” and attend “appearances by actors.” These visitors just “love their rituals,” says El Gallo. They love quirky Roslyn, too.