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America’s Grossest Wonders
While cheap fares, including cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, cheap auto rentals, and cheap vacation packages make travel possible for many, some would be travelers are not interested in taking your typical vacation to visit a beach, amusement park, or going on a shopping extravaganza.
For those looking for an altogether different type of trip, checking out one or more of the following gross destinations identified by Richard Faulk might be of interest:
• The Mutter Museum in Philadelphia is home to a human skull collections where examples of diseased organs preserved in jars or cast in wax models can be found.
It also has on display the Chevalier Jackson Foreign Bodies Collection, a cabinet filled with over 2,000 swallowed objects removed by a single doctor.
• The Malheur National Forest in Oregon has the world’s largest fungus. There you can find a massive honey mushroom estimated to weigh between 7,500 to 35,000 tons.
• Necropolis by the Bay in Colma, California is a city with 1,800 residents where the dead outnumber the living 900 to 1. Colma is less a city than a network of roads that connect its many (17) cemeteries. It is home to so many dead because in 1900 San Francisco decided to remove all of its dead because of scarce land and transferred their remains to new cemeteries in Colma.
• Indiana Medical History Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana was built on the site of an old insane asylum. The museum has a perfect replica of a turn of the century pathology laboratory where visitors can view gruesome medical and autopsy tools in their native environment. There is a human brain collection on display that includes 80 samples which are sliced in cross sections and preserved on glass slides.
• Leila’s Hair Museum in Independence, Missouri is home to the only museum in the United States dedicated entirely to hair art. Old hair is known to give some people an intense case of the heebie-jeebies. Hair craft used to be popular with Victorians, who wove jewelry and decorative lace out of human hair. Often such pieces were kept as mementos of dead or absent loved ones. Over 2,000 items some as old as the 17th century are housed in the museum.
• Berkeley Pit, in Butte, Montana has an unintended artificial lake four miles around tinted with a surprising shade of rich cordovan red. The Berkeley Pit is home to the country’s largest contiguous federal Superfund site. For 27 years it was the site of intensive strip mining. When mining stopped in 1982 ground water rushed into the pit, bringing along an infusion of acids and toxic heavy metals.
• Morbid Anatomy Library in Brooklyn, New York is a library and collection of weird art and lecture space which hosts periodic classes in anthropomorphic taxidermy. This is the old Victorian craft of dressing dead animals in cute little outfits and posing them in human activities.
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