How Many of These Attractions Have You Visited?
America has a wealth of iconic and inspiring tourist attractions peppered across the nation. Still, if it’s stories about the Statue of Liberty or Disneyland you’re looking for, this is NOT the article for you. As aside from the places worth visiting, our country has many destinations that will not only have you asking ‘WHY would you visit such a place?’ but have you questioning its reason for existing in the first place!
We have collected together the best (and by that, we mean the worst), most pointless, bizarre, dumb, tacky, and disgusting sights that cities and towns have desperately tried to convince tourists to spend their hard-earned cash on visiting it. So, set your faces to stunned as we go through 11 locations you might want to avoid because…. what’s the point?
1. Barbed Wire Museum
If you’re a big fan of a ‘wire with clusters of short, sharp spikes set at short intervals along with it, used to make fences or in warfare as an obstruction,’ then this is definitely the place for you! The Devils Rope Barbed Wire Museum in McLean, Texas, opened its obviously well-guarded doors back in 1991 by its plain-spoken founder, Delbert Trew.
The museum wants to “tell the world all about the history of barbed wire, its artifacts, the significance of the invention, and the impact on the development of the Old West.” It ‘boasts’ the largest collection of published material concerning barbed wire. If there’s one museum, you will want to pay attention to the ‘Do not touch’ sign,’ it’s here!
2. National Museum of Funeral History
Suppose you happen to be visiting Texas and don’t think that sharp pieces of metal attached to a long wire are your thing. Why not visit the thoroughly morbid and depressing National Museum of Funeral History in Houston. Opening in 1992, it was the culmination of its founder Robert L. Waltrip’s 25-year dream of establishing an institution to educate the public and preserve the heritage of death care. He sounds fun at parties?
While it does offer fascinating and educational exhibits on everything from the technique of Civil War embalming to the invention of the motorized hearse AND hosts an annual golf tournament once a year in May, it does still beg the question….. WHY would you want to spend your vacation surrounded by death???
Why bother spending thousands of dollars on a flight and hotel to visit England’s mysterious and mythical Stonehenge when you can have the next best thing? Why not take a trip to the scale replica of the iconic prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, made entirely from cars located near the city of Alliance, Nebraska.
It was constructed by Jim Reinders (as a memorial to his late father), who had lived in England and extensively studied the famous structure. It consists of 39 classic automobiles spray-painted gray and arranged in a circle measuring about 96 feet (29 m) in diameter.
It was opened just in time for the June 1987 summer solstice, and while it has seen many visitors over the years, it’s more of a quirky construction than a must-see destination.
4. Corn Palace
Everyone loves corn, right? Well, it turns out that some people love corn WAY more than your average Joe, especially if you happen to be from Mitchell, South Dakota, where the majestic Corn Palace can be found. And although South Dakota might have the more famous Mount Rushmore for visitors to the state to enjoy, construction only started on that iconic monument in 1927. Corn Palace, however, opened its doors way back in 1892.
Originally designed to highlight the “fertility” of South Dakota’s harvest, Corn Palace today, which has been hilariously described as a corn-colored mosque with minarets, mainly hosts entertainment events and festivals. The palace proudly displays the fact that it is the ONLY corn palace in the world, to which the only reply is ‘yea…. no sh*t…..’
5. Seattle’s Gum Wall
Ever had gum stuck to the bottom of your desk or shoe? Not pleasant right? Well for the people of Seattle are not only not bothered about chewing gum, they have created a monument of sorts to praise its…. stickiness I guess? It all started back in the early 90s when some customers at the Market Theater, located in an alleyway in Post Alley under Pike Place Market in Downtown Seattle, decided it would be a good idea to stick chewed gum on the venue’s brick wall and stick coins in the gum.
And while several people who ran the theater over the years rightly saw it as rather disgusting and lobbied to have it removed. Eventually, its stickiness would prevail as it would inexplicably be designated as a ‘tourist attraction’. Today, there are an estimated 100,000 pieces of gum of all different colors and shapes stuck up to 20 feet above the sidewalk.
6. World’s Largest Ball of Paint
This somewhat bizarre ‘attraction’ in Alexandria, Indiana, actually began life as something much more disgusting. Back in the late 90s, sewage workers made the horrific discovery of a massive hairball lodged in the sewer system! However, instead of the townsfolk being rightfully disgusted, they inexplicably embraced it (oh God, I hope not literally), claiming it as the ‘World’s Largest Hairball.’ This odd adoration wouldn’t last long as the hairball would dissolve after only a few years.
Enter local ‘hero’ Michael Carmichael, who decided to create another, less vomit-inducing, large ball for the town to be proud of. This time, a giant paintball. Carmichael would dedicate several years layering a mind-boggling 21,000 coats of paint to create a ball that officially IS recognized by Guinness World Records as the ‘World’s Largest Paintball,’ so there’s that.
7. World’s Largest Ball of Twine
If the ‘World’s Largest Hairball’ or the ‘World’s Largest Paintball’ doesn’t leave you amazed, how about the ‘World’s Largest Ball of Twine’? Located along the north shore of Waconda Lake and Glen Elder State Park, Cawker City in Mitchell County, Kansas, takes their massive record-breaking ball of twine darn seriously.
In 1953, Cawker City resident Frank Stoeber took the odd decision to create this ball of sisal twine, and by the time he passed away in 1974, that ball had grown into an 11-foot-diameter (3.4 m) monster made from 1.6 million feet (490,000 m) of twine. However, his legacy lives on as a “Twine-a-thon” is held every August, and more twine is added to the ball. You know, so they don’t lose a title many cities all over the world are clamoring to possess, ummmm sure, why not?
8. World’s Largest Dresser
If you ever wondered where Paul Bunyan keeps his lumberjack shirts, socks, and underwear, you might want to pay a visit to High Point, North Carolina. This city calls itself the ‘Home Furnishings and Hosiery Capital of the World’, so what better way to promote that claim than to build the World’s Largest Chest of Drawers.
Designed and built in 1926 by local freelance furniture and architectural designer Sid Lenger and later remodeled by him in 1996 at the cost of $100,000, the 19th-century style dresser stands at 40 feet tall. There are also two 6 feet colored socks sticking out of one of the drawers as symbols of the city’s hosiery industry. We really hope those socks have been properly washed.
9. The 40 Acre Rock
Although this possibly sounds like a supermassive rock festival, sadly, it really is just a rock. Albeit a big one, but perhaps not as big as South Carolinians might have you believe. Nestled at the boundary of the Sandhills and Piedmont regions is 40 Acre Rock Heritage Preserve. There you’ll find, you guessed it, a 40-acre rock. One where tourists are encouraged to admire the scenery as they trek across this (apparently) huge chunk of rock.
There’s only one small problem. In reality, this ‘huge’ 40-acre rock is just a measly 14 acres. And if the false advertising wasn’t bad enough, who wants to see a big rock? If you’ve ever seen a hill or a mountain in your lifetime, you’ve already done it.
10. Center of the Universe Manhole
Have you ever struggled to decide where you want to spend your vacation this year? Then why not take a visit to the actual center of the Universe? And where exactly would you find the center of the known Universe? Why, in Wallace, Idaho, of course! And if your town has less than 800 residents and is more well known for its potato cultivation, what else are you going to do to get those tourist dollars?
To counteract the distinct lack of visitors, on September 25, 2004, Mayor Ron Garitone proclaimed Wallace to be the center of the Universe. And what better way to commemorate such a momentous discovery than to commission a manhole cover that bears the words “Center of the Universe. Wallace, Idaho.” to tell the world.
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11. Edison’s Last Breath
We’ve left the most breathtaking (quite literally) and bizarre ‘attraction’ till last. We all look up to our heroes, whoever they may be. For the industrialist, business magnate, founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford, that hero was famed inventor Thomas Edison. Ford was so obsessed with Edison that he managed to convince Edison’s son to sit by his dying father’s bedside and capture the inventor’s final breath in a glass tube.
After Ford passed in 1974, it would be housed in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, but was lost in a box until 1978 when museum employees rediscovered the mysterious test tube. This was apparently when the legend of the ‘dying breath’ began to spread. This legend is almost impossible to prove but seeing how Ford was an awful antisemitic who Hitler admired, anything is possible with this madman.
If this article has whetted your appetite to experience more of the most unusual sights, structures, exhibits, and events in the United States, then you might want to dive into this entertaining book by clicking HERE.