A Treasure Trove of Bizarre Oddities : Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, London

A perfect birthday treat for someone who (like me) loves weird and wonderful things! I went to Ripley’s back in 2014 (spoilt by a BFF), but I had to write a post about it because it was such a great experience and I still want to go again!

Based in the heart of London, it’s a treasure trove of bizarrely interesting artefacts – a museum of oddities. As long as you take pleasure in the unusual, Ripley’s has something for everyone. Some of it’s more ‘normal’ features include art:

But if you’re ready for something a little more atypical, there’s also an entire section dedicated to interesting creations- it’s really quite amazing what people can think up and dedicate their time and skills to. One of my favourites was the extreme carpentry that went into a giant rocking chair.

Speaking of giant, that rocking chair could have been a good fit for the world’s tallest man, also a feature of the attraction that you can compare yourself to. Not surprisingly, I fell incredibly short.

At least I was happy to fall short against the world’s heaviest man.

But maybe you’re the intellectual type and are looking for something a little more educational, and that’s fine, because Ripley’s has some goodies for you, too:

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OK, so maybe that was a little more education than you bargained for, but, seriously, there is plenty of interesting history at Ripley’s that you won’t find elsewhere because it’s just too darn interesting for a normal museum. Whether it’s tribal traditions, medical conditions, cultural history, or just unusual occurrences.

There’s also plenty of information about oddities in the animal kingdom (did you know there was an eight-legged calf? Or how about the cow with two fully functioning heads?), science and space (including ‘the oldest thing you’ll ever touch’ – don’t worry, it’s not icky!) and all other wonders of the world out there. It really is an eclectic mix and there is something to keep you entertained at every corner.

1There’s also just some plain old fun like optical illusions. Admittedly, it’s less visible to the eye and was far more convincing in person.

But this brings me to the best thing about Ripley’s – I love how interactive it is. How refreshing to visit what is essentially a museum and have artefacts that you can not only touch, but climb on, or into, or measure yourself against. Of course several of the artefacts are roped off or in glass boxes, but with so many chances to interact, this seems like a fair trade.

Even more so when Ripley’s has a few other interactive goodies in store. For starters there is a mirror maze. In all honesty, we found this a little disappointing. Not surprisingly, you have to try to time your venture so that you’re not just following others in the maze and once you’re in, the finger prints make it pretty easy to determine where the mirrors are. 893718_10154157525395451_9026994188472832326_o

Nonetheless, this was entirely redeemed by the Revolving Tunnel and The Vault Lazer Maze. Wow!

The Revolving Tunnel is a vortex revolving around you, making the seemingly simple task of crossing the bridge a dizzy affair! It’s a great illusion that throws off your senses and the bizarre sensation is fantastic! We went through several times, but unfortunately we weren’t able to get a photo and didn’t pay for the overpriced professional picture designed to capture us looking foolish.

The Vault Lazer Maze is your chance to play jewel thief. You’re in a room full of lazers and you have to make it to the vault, setting them off as little as possible. There is a high score board but unfortunately, we stood no chance of getting on it as my rather generous booty kept setting of the lazers. This was a lot of fun, so much so that I actually considered paying for an extra turn.

Ripley’s is like nothing else I have experienced and it is exactly the kind of thing I wish there was more of. Please – more buildings filled with random awesomeness!! I’d happily go again. I’d recommend it as an experience anyone should try if they have the chance and I can only imagine that kids would love this as a fun day out.

I guess I’d like to say thank you to the talented Mr Ripley. Thank you, Mr Ripley, for being so darn weird.

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Brilliant hologram of Mr Ripley Himself

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