Here's your chance to see a "real" mermaid and a Victorian-era kitten tea party.

By Andrea Romano
Updated May 29, 2020
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Horacio Villalobos / Contributor / Getty Images

Museums aren’t all famous artifacts and beautiful paintings.

Sometimes, things you find in a museum can be downright...creepy.

Since many museums around the world are closed in accordance with coronavirus lockdown measures, a visit to the museum is pretty much impossible at the moment (unless you opt for a virtual museum tour, that is).

With so many museum curators waiting for the moment to reopen their doors to the public, they’re finding ways to engage with people over social media. For instance, the #MuseumMomentofZen challenge, which was kicked off by the Museum of the City of New York, was a great way to see beautiful paintings and art from museums around the world.

But not all museum collections are meant to be beautiful. The Yorkshire Museum in England demonstrated this fact by starting the hashtag #CreepiestObject on Twitter, calling all museum curators to share the weirdest and “creepiest” objects they have in their exhibits. The museum kicked off the challenge by sharing a photo of an attachable hair bun worn by a Roman woman in the 3rd or 4th century.

While “creepy” may seem insensitive, the word is not used to be derogatory. In fact, the hashtag truly shows how strange and interesting objects can be beautiful (in their own way).

Lots of museums shared their strangest objects, including peculiar taxidermy, ancient artifacts that make you question society, and lots of random objects that you absolutely cannot unsee. Keep in mind some of these objects are not for the faint of heart, so take a peek at your own risk.

For instance, the National Museums Scotland shared its “mermaid,” which may haunt some people’s nightmares tonight.

Science and natural history museums offered up particularly interesting pieces, from ancient home decor, strange masks, and truly puzzling children’s toys.

Museums that particularly cater to people in search of historic “curiosities” definitely brought their A-game to this hashtag challenge, sharing some of the weirdest things you may not find in a regular science or history museum. The Museum of Supernatural History (Surnateum) shared a Krampus claw from Bavaria; the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall, England shared a very unique taxidermied fox; and Ripley’s Believe It or Not shared the preserved head of a so-called “real-life vampire.”

You may be tempted to laugh, or cry, to simply hold your mouth agape at the sight of these weird and wonderful “treasures.” Whether you like them or not, scrolling through these photos are certainly a new way to enjoy a museum from afar.

More entries to the Yorkshire Museum’s #CreepiestObject curator “battle” can be found on Twitter.