Friday, May 16, 2008

There's a Museum for Everything

We're all familiar with large, eclectic museums that are devoted to a wide variety of topics, such as the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. Then there are smaller museums devoted to a single topic or a limited number of related topics. I've been to a couple of those: one devoted to gemstones and my county has one devoted to our county's history.

But the one I read about this morning should be filed under "Now I've Heard Everything".

It seems as if Iceland boasts a museum devoted entirely to the penis, the Icelandic Phallological Museum. The museum currently houses 261 preserved members from 90 species and began in 1974 with a bull's penis the size of a riding crop.

The largest, from a sperm whale, is 70 kg (154 lb) and 1.7 meters (5.58 ft) long. The smallest, a hamster penis bone, is just 2 mm and must be viewed through a magnifying glass.

So far there are no human specimens, but four men, a German, an American, an Icelander and a Briton have promised to donate their organs after they die.

The Icelandic donor, a 93-year-old retired libertine thought having his penis in the collection might bring him eternal fame. Recently, however, he's been having second thoughts, as his penis has been shrinking as he's gotten older.

The museum opened in 1997 and has had visitors from all over the world, sixty percent of them being women.

Somehow, I'm not surprised.

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