Rocks Shaped Like Elvis, Mikhail Gorbachev and Jesus Are in This Japanese Museum
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Rocks Shaped Like Elvis, Mikhail Gorbachev and Jesus Are in This Japanese Museum

japanese rock museum
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The only qualification for rocks in the collection is that they be shaped completely naturally.

If geology were an art form, this Japanese museum would be the Louvre.

Chinsekikan—translated, that's “The Hall of Curious Rocks”—has been housed in Chichibu, Japan, for the past 50 years. Its vast collection of 1,700 rocks—900 of which resemble human heads—includes specimens that resemble celebrities, characters and even government leaders.

The museum’s original curator passed away in 2010, but the operation was taken over by his daughter and continues today. Originally, the museum’s owner was interested in collecting rare rocks. Eventually his collection progressed to include interesting-shaped rocks, which eventually began to include celebrity lookalike rocks. The only qualification for rocks in the collection is that they be shaped completely naturally.

The museum’s collection includes rocks that are shaped like E.T., Nemo and Jesus. But there are also rocks that resemble more unusual figures like Donkey Kong, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Elvis Presley.

The museum’s original owner would collect rocks shaped like faces in a variety of ways, including giving pocket money to local children if they brought him rocks they found. Most of the rocks were found in the nearby Arakawa River.

Those who are interested in visiting the museum should call in advance, as it is known to close unexpectedly for the day.

Although the quantity of rocks at the museum is impressive, it is far from the largest rock collection in the world. The British Natural History museum’s rock collection contains over 123,000 specimens collected over the past 250 years.

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