Have a taste for all things unusual, perplexing, and slightly baffling? This one is for you. Check out these spots across the country where normal just doesn’t apply.
1. Montana: The Radon Health Mines, Boulder
People usually try to avoid radon. It's known to cause some pretty serious health problems, like radiation poisoning and superpowers. However, hordes of radiation junkies flock to Boulder every year to drink the radioactive water that can be found in the town's defunct gold and uranium mines, as well as breath in radon gas. Why? They think it improves their health. Believers allege that this pilgrimage has cured everything from arthritis to lupus.
2. Kentucky: Vent Haven Museum, Fort Mitchell
Vent Haven Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to the art of ventriloquism. It has over 800 figures on display, plus a huge library of ventriloquism-related books and letters. They also host an international ConVENTion, where more than 600 ventriloquists gather to talk shop. Perhaps through their dolls. Pure nightmare fuel.
3. Hawaii: Kauai’s Glass Beach, Hanapepe
This beach in Hawaii is made of sea glass. It formed after years of accumulation of discarded glass and is one of the most unique beaches in the world.
4. Florida: Coral Castle, Homestead
This labyrinth of stone and flora was the creation of a single Latvian immigrant, Edward Leedskalnin. He shaped and moved each limestone figure by hand. Most weigh several tons, and his methods for accomplishing such a difficult feat are still unknown.
5. Louisiana: Chauvin Sculpture Garden, Thibodaux
This beautiful sculpture garden is the handiwork of Kenny Hill, a bricklayer turned religious sculptor. Without explanation, in 1990 he began erecting incredibly detailed and artistic figures on his property. The sculptures range from angels to cowboys, and even people from Hill's own life. The artist himself disappeared in early 2000 after being evicted.
6. Texas: The Orange Show, Houston
The Orange Show is an exhibit dedicated to to – you guess it – oranges. Jeff McKissack, the site's creator, claimed that he was inspired by his inability to create a functioning orange juicer, as well as by a handshake with West Orange native, Thomas Edison. The items on display include things like a butter churn, a scarecrow, and mosaic art. Though McKissack expected the attraction to be more popular than Disneyland, The Orange Show didn't quite take off the way he expected. Today, it is the site of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art.
7. Mississippi: Robert Johnson Graves, Leflore County,
The late blues legend Robert Johnson is definitely buried in Leflore County...but there's a bit of confusion regarding exactly where. Johnson actually has three tombstones in three different graveyards. Due to poor record-keeping, the actual location of the famous musician's body is unknown.
8. Ohio: The Gum Wall
The Maid Rite Sandwich Shop in Greenville is the proud owner of a very curious (and somewhat gross) wall of gum. Customers pulling up to grab their grub from the drive-through window routinely stick their gum to the shop's brick wall. Years of this behavior has resulted in a staggering amount of gum, and a thoroughly unusual site.
9. Iowa: The Volkswagen Spider, Avoca
Who made it? We don't know. Why? Even more mysterious. This creepy and cool sculpture is actually just one of many Volkswagen spiders scattered across the globe.
10. Wisconsin: Dr. Evermor’s Forevertron, North Freedom
Looking as if it could creak to life at any moment, this behemoth is one of the world's largest scrap metal sculptures. At over 50 feet high and weighing in at more than 300 tons, this sculpture actually incorporates two Thomas Edison dynamos from the 1880s. Its creator Tom Every is a former demolitions expert who designed the piece to propel himself "into the heavens on a majestic lightning force beam."
11. Alabama: Dinosaurs in the Woods, Elberta
In 1991, local artist Mike Cline was approached by a man in ragged clothing. The mysterious man said that his brother might want to buy some of Cline's dinosaur sculptures to put on his lawn. Thinking the man wasn't being serious, Cline quoted him an exorbitant fee. Soon after, the man called Cline and related that his brother, billionaire George Barber, wanted seven of the artist's massive dinosaurs. Today, you can visit four of Cline's dinosaurs in the woods near Barber Marina.
12. South Carolina: Peachoid, Gaffney
Fans of House of Cards might be familiar with this giant, peach-shaped water tower. Located along Interstate 85, the structure has a vaguely anatomical look about it.
13. Alaska: Spirit Houses, Anchorage
These Eclutna burial sites are a fusion of Russian Orthodox and Native practices. More than 100 vibrant spirit houses are located in the Eklutna Historical Park. The structures are painted in ancestral colors, and then left to rot and crumble in order to allow the spirit of the deceased to rejoin the Earth.
14. Arizona: Biosphere 2, Oracle
This unusual research facility began life in the 1980s as an experiment straight out of science fiction. Participants attempted to simulate living conditions on another planet, setting up the world's second-largest biome as a sort of scientific utopia. Though the experiment failed, visitors are welcome to tour the facility.
A visit to Pymatuning Lake will provide you with one of the oddest sights you’ll ever witness. Throwing bread into the water from a bridge results in a massive carp traffic jam. The Spillway’s slogan is “where ducks walk on fish,” and it doesn’t seem like an exaggeration. You have to watch the video to truly understand.
Have you been to any of these odd places? Have other suggestions for unusual spots in the U.S.? Let us know!
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