TORONTO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/07/13 -- May 18th is International Museum Day, and communities around the globe will be celebrating in the days and weeks to come around the theme Museums (memory + creativity) = social change. For their part, the travel experts at Cheapflights.ca, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, scoured the globe in search of the most creative museums, some bordering on the bizarre, to come up with their list of Top 10 Quirky Museums. While the Oxford Dictionary defines a museum as "a building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited," this list takes that definition to a whole new level.
Below are four quirky museums located in North America to make the list and feature collections that celebrate the intriguing worlds of espionage, war, outer space and sci-fi.
•International Spy Museum, Washington, D.C., United States - How do you know what happens in the most secretive profession in the world? Visit the International Spy Museum in downtown Washington, D.C., for a lesson in espionage and intrigue. With a Spy School featuring interactive exhibits on such spycraft activities as disguise and surveillance and an extensive display of gadgets and weapons from the field, this collection makes the seaming unreal life of secret agents suddenly very real. Add in history lessons on the covert role of espionage from the Civil War through the Atomic Bomb to the full story behind the movie "Argo", and this museum brings the shadowy world (and impact) of professional spies into the limelight. While there are more than enough real-life spy stories to fill the museum, the escapades of James Bond are so central to the realm of intrigue that a new exhibit, "Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years Of Bond Villains", connects the dots between fiction and fact.
•Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - A once-secret bunker built to house leaders of the Canadian government in the event of a nuclear war, the Diefenbunker is a vast underground history lesson about the cold war era. The four-story, 100,000-square-foot complex, buried under a hillside in the village of Carp, just west of Canada's capital, was ready to be the operational centre for government. Equipped with an "Emergency Government Situation Centre", a Cabinet War Room, and a CBC radio station as well as living quarters, a medical room and a mess hall, this bunker brings home just how close leaders felt we were to a nuclear catastrophe. Visitors can walk down the long blast tunnel, see the offices and sit in the seats of power that were all ready and waiting in the event the cold war went hot.
•International UFO Museum and Research Center, Roswell, New Mexico, United States - Roswell, New Mexico, was a sleepy corner of the country until a rancher came upon a crash site just outside of town in July 1947 and the questions began. The search for UFOs (unidentified flying objects) is a passion point for many, and this museum, which opened in 1992 and has outgrown its first two locations, is the central point for that passion. In addition to exhibits on the incident in 1947, visitors and researchers have ready access to information on abductions, sightings, crop circles and Area 51. The museum also helps host an annual Roswell UFO Festival each year in the first week of July.
•Vulcan Tourism & Trek Station, Vulcan, Alberta, Canada - Perhaps it's not a surprise to see a spaceship looming on the horizon of a town named Vulcan. It is certainly a brilliant move on the part of the town's tourism board. A tribute to the fictional Vulcan, the home of "Star Trek's" Mr. Spock, the out-of-this-world-shaped Vulcan Tourism and Trek Station is chock full of memorabilia (including a set of ears donated by Leonard Nimoy himself) from the many characters, movies and TV shows from this legendary sci-fi franchise. With greetings written in English, Vulcan and Klingon, a large-scale replica of the Starship Enterprise, floor-to-ceiling space murals and costumes and cut-outs for photo ops, there is plenty for any Trekkie to love. Add in a chance to sit in Kirk's chair or go through a Vulcan space adventure mission, and it's no wonder this museum has succeeded in putting Vulcan on the map.
If you thought the above were fascinating, check out the next six unusual museums to round out our list: Leeds Castle Dog Collar Museum, Kent, England; Venustempel Sexmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, New Delhi, India; Museum of Apiculture, Radovljica, Slovenia; Museum of Human Disease - Sydney, Australia; and The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, Osaka, Japan. To see the bizarre details on these collections and read Cheapflights.ca's complete Top 10 Quirky Museums, visit www.cheapflights.ca/travel/top-10-quirky-museums.
About Momondo Group
Momondo Group is an online travel media and technology company that is driven by the belief that an open world is a better world. The group now serves travel search and inspiration to over 13 million visitors a month -- plus 6 million travel newsletter subscribers -- via its Cheapflights (www.cheapflights.ca) and momondo (www.momondo.com) brands.
Skygate began the sourcing of complex air-travel data in 1992, while Cheapflights pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users in 1996 and momondo launched meta-search in the Nordic countries in 2006.
The Group has offices in London, Copenhagen, Boston and Toronto, with a consumer base across more than 20 core international markets but users all over the world.
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