When I walked into Ripley’s I was greeted by a King Kong statue made of old no, recycled tires and a Captain America made of car parts. But it gets weirder: they have a room full of shrunken heads! They also have a collection of two-headed animals, as well as a 16 foot long anaconda, an albino giraffe, and a headless chicken! They have a Buddha statue made of a million dollars in shredded money the government threw out. These are just a few of the hundreds and hundreds of things you can see when you visit Manhattan’s Ripley’s Believe it Or Not Museum.
Why do I call it a Museum?
Ripley traveled the world collecting things at a time before the Internet. Being able to share them with the people who just visit, in amazing displays, translates to a museum to me.
A giant ship model made of Jade? Breathtaking.
Videos of Dean Cain from their TV show? Yummy!
Most people might not think of a collection of oddities as educational, but they would be incorrect. It is a huge example of cultural diversity! Robert Ripley took his first trip around the world in 1922 and the rest is literally history. He even is the reason that The Star Spangled Banner is our National anthem as he published in his column in 1929 that we didn’t legally have one. As of 1931, it actually was declared so by the President.
It’s just amazing how one person can affect so many lives!
Here is what I liked the most: Informational plaques that actually help you learn about the displays! I do like all the incredible things to see but it’s more fun when you actually learn about their back stories. Mr Ripley was an amateur anthropologist!
When you find yourself in New York City, plan some time to drop in and check out Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Make sure you find the room with the hidden exit and the funky light display reactive room!
disclosure: we were provided tickets in exchange for a review, all thoughts are entirely our own and I absolutely want to check out the one in Wisconsin Dells now!