Based around the 1918 cartoon series, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, the global chain of museums of the same name, affectionately dubbed odditoriums, were set up to exhibit the collections of oddities amassed by their eccentric creator and namesake, Robert Ripley. The London branch, one of 30 museums around the world, opened its doors in 2008 at The Trocadero in Piccadilly Circus and remains one of the city’s most unique attractions.
Over 700 weird, wonderful and downright bizarre exhibits make up the mind-boggling galleries; all authentic artifacts collected by the intrepid Ripley on his world travels. Spread over 6 floors, the curiosities include a life-sized knitted Ferrari, a painting of the ‘Last Supper’ etched onto a grain of rice, a two-headed calf, a 4-meter model of Tower Bridge made out of 400,000 matchsticks and a £500,000 Swarovski Crystal-covered Mini Cooper. There’s plenty of interactive entertainment, too – attempt the hilariously confusing mirror maze; try the Titanic experience - a bucket of water kept at the exact temperature of the sea on that fateful night; marvel at the freaky mummified figures and shrunken heads; or attempt the Laser Challenge – dodging an elaborate series of lasers without breaking the beam.
2013 also sees the addition of a special post-Olympics ‘Legends Gallery’, the largest collection of Olympic torches in the world, including 32 torches, most notably the 2012 London Torch, signed by double Gold Medal track cyclist Laura Trott.