Australia is home to some pretty strange sights: the Big Pineapple, the Big Banana, the Big Prawn … okay, so we just have a lot of random, big edible things. But our Aussie oddities have got nothing on America’s weirdest tourist attractions.
Cano’s Castle, AKA ‘beer can chateau’, is a mansion made completely out of tinnies in a small Colorado town. The local man who built it, Dominic Espinosa (nicknamed Cano, hence the name) doesn’t live in it though – he’s in a trailer across the street, because Cano’s Castle is for Jesus, apparently.
No, Nicolas Cage isn’t dead. But the eccentric actor has plans for his remains when he is someday: a pyramid shaped tomb in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans. Cage has never publicly commented on why he had the tomb built. Rumours include that he’s a member of the Illuminati (along with the rest of Hollywood), or that he’s hiding money from the US tax department.
What do you with a disused toxic waste site? Cover it with tonnes of rocks and turn it into a tourist attraction, that’s what! If you ever pass through Missouri, be sure to check out the Nuclear Waste Adventure Trail and Museum, where TNT, mercury, asbestos and radioactive uranium are buried underground, where you can, um … walk over it? Cool.
They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and turns out everything’s weirder, too. Take Cadillac Ranch, a public art installation in Amarillo where a line of old Cadillacs have been spray painted and half buried, nose-first in the ground, designed to sit at the exact same angles as the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. It was built in the 1970s, which pretty much explains it.
In the Nevada desert near CIA base Area 51 – the subject of alien conspiracies for decades – there’s an unlikely business that attracts attention: the Area 51 Alien Travel Center and Brothel. There’s just something so strange about a brothel being next to a gift shop and restaurant (brothels are legal in the state of Nevada), let alone the fact that it’s alien themed.
Curious about what it’s like to spend time in the clink? You can get a look inside jail life at the Texas Prison Museum, north of Houston. The strange and undeniably fascinating objects held there include a pistol found in the car notorious 1930s gangsters Bonnie and Clyde were murdered in, and an old electric chair in which more than 300 people met their end. Gruesome.
Boasting of its status as “the only hair museum in the world”, this odd attraction in Missouri (also the home of the Nuclear Waste Adventure Trail and Museum, don’t forget!) is home to more than 600 pieces of jewellery made out of hair. It sounds gross, but apparently it was a common practice in the Victorian era. There are said to be “pieces” with hair belonging to Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe. Not sure if we want to know how they got those.
Leila's Hair Museum Official Website
The prized exhibit at Mount Angel Abbey, a monastery for Benedictine monks in Oregeon, is the world’s largest pig hairball. Yes, that’s a hairball that was coughed up by a pig. It’s the size of a football. Don’t visit on a full stomach.
Does this giant orange peach that looks an awful lot like a butt seem familiar? That’s because it was seen in House Of Cards, and was actually key part of the plot in season three. The 41-metre tall water tower is in Gaffney, South Carolina, distracting highway drivers with its likeness to a naked bum.
Erin Van Der Meer
Outside San Antonio, Texas lies the vision of artist and plumber Barney Smith – a toilet seat art museum. The space showcases more than 1200 seats that Barney has decorated over the years. You’ve got to admire the dedication.
10 of America’s weirdest tourist attractions