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Can You Guess Which of These Bizarro Tourist Attractions Are Real?

Can You Guess Which of These Bizarro Tourist Attractions Are Real?

By Melissa Albert

Spotting highway signs for crazy attractions ("SEE THE WORLD'S LARGEST PLASTER BEARD") is one of the best things about summer road trips, outside of having an excuse to live off Pringles and Red Vines for two days. In celebration of the world's weirdest tourist traps  and the hopeful people who run them, we present seven real, live ridiculous destinations—and three that are fake. See if you can guess which are which.

1. Dead People's Things for Sale: Yep. That's the entire attraction, there in the title. This place can sell you all the dead people's things you never knew you needed.

2. Island of the Dolls:
Accessible only by a (probably haunted) canoe, this remote Mexican island was transformed into a terrifying garden of dolls by the hermit who once lived there. Believing himself to be haunted by the spirit of a drowned girl, he did what any sane person would do: called an exorcist hung doll parts from trees for the next 50 years.

3. Burt Reynolds and Friends Museum:
This attraction memorializes the career of one of Hollywood's most famous mustaches, and the man who wore it. Items on display include multiple cowboy hats. Word is out on whether the gift shop stocks mustache combs.

4. The Deceased Library: Housed in a former theater in Santa Fe, this library contains nothing but unpublished works—its collection includes loooots of fan fiction, memoir, and conspiracy theory "nonfiction." It will only turn a book away on obscenity grounds, and only authors whose work appears in the library can borrow books.

5. Bosco the Dog Mayor: This labrador mix was once the United States' first and only dog mayor, elected to office in 1981. Though Bosco has since passed on, you can visit a bar in his hometown that serves beer out of a real classy keg...made out of a taxidermied Bosco lookalike. If you want to fill your glass, all you've got to do is lift his back leg.

6. World of Videotape: This Iowa City house is basically the world's largest TiVo. WoV's goal is to collect on VHS tape every single episode of every single American sitcom ever made. For three bucks you can go through the archives, select a show of your choice, and watch it in one of several themed screening rooms (including Wild West and Huxtable House).

7. The Thing?: For one dollar, you can see The Thing. We can't tell you any more than that, because nobody who has seen The Thing has lived to tell the tale! At least nobody we've ever met. All we know for sure is if you want to find out what The Thing is all about, you've got to head to Arizona and fork over a buck.

8. The Ice Aquarium: Aww, you want to see some cute penguins, maybe an Arctic seal? Sorry, but all the animals here are dead. Flash-frozen for preservation purposes, they're now on view in a building kept at subzero temps, where visitors have to wear special coats and are advised not to stay too long in the chill.

9. Museum of Bad Art: This spectacularly bad collection began in an antiques dealer's home, but eventually his collection got too big to contain. It's now on view for the public, and specializes in such classical art genres as Unwanted Nudes, I Love My Dog, and "Is that a landscape or a portrait of Napoleon?"

10. Futurama Diorama: Erected in a former one-story shopping mall in Utah, this living diorama employs over 100 "actors" in an effort to portray life as its creators imagine it will be lived after the incoming alien invasion. Expect lots of metallic spandex and frightening visions of humans as a food source.

For better or worse, these attractions are 100% REAL: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9

What's the realest-sounding fake tourist attraction you can think of?

Topics: Life
Tags: road trips, summer vacation, funny things, tourist attractions

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About the Author
Melissa Albert

Melissa Albert reads books, worries about other people’s dogs (they look thirsty), and eats horrible candy for fun and profit. When not wearing her extremely tasteful Sparkitor hat, she’s an editor for the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. You can find her on Twitter @mimi_albert, or in the hot pretzel section of your local cafeteria.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.