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World's Strangest Theme Parks

Grutas Park, Latvia

Jan Suttle/Alamy

Grutas Park, Lithuania

Opened in 2001, this park near the southern Belarus border won the offbeat Ig Nobel Peace Prize for improbable research from Harvard; the two-mile-long playground and zoo is wrapped in an homage to the Soviet regime. Nicknamed Stalin World, it showcases icons stripped of their political power; visitors gawk at the Terror Sphere, featuring statues of Communist Party leaders and imitation watchtowers and trenches. Wisely, the park nixed the idea of carting guests around on a gulag train.

Best of the Strange: The Nostalgia menu at the on-site restaurant offers Soviet-themed dishes, like the Goodbye Youth chop of mystery meat.


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