Architecture
638 voters

Primally Disgusting And Bizarre Monuments From Around The World

Updated January 16, 2020 3.8k votes 638 voters 31.9k views13 items

List RulesVote up the nasty landmarks you'd least want to spend quality time with.

Have you ever stumbled upon a frozen pool of puke in the middle of the sidewalk late some frozen winter night and mistaken it for art? And, in that moment, mind muddled by substance, heart full of the stars and bustle, did you wonder to yourself, "What are the most disgusting monuments from around the world"? As it turns out, such conjecture isn't solely the provenance of  drunken romantics who mistake frozen vomit for public art. Indeed, the nastiest monuments in the world contain chewed-up gum, dangling dolls, and human parts suspended in formaldehyde. 

These gross monuments come in various shapes and sizes - some are private undertakings that captured the public imagination, others museums created for public edification. One's just a wall on the street. Yet all these putrescent attractions have one thing in common - they nasty. If you're nasty too, or have a morbid curiosity for all things vile, you've come to the right place. Check out some of the most disgusting landmarks from around the world. 

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  • 1

    The Market Theater Gum Wall

    Photo: Nicola since 1972 / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Seattle's Pike Place Market is known for its fish throwers and for being home of the first Starbucks. And, since 1993, it's also been known for the Gum Wall, which started outside The Market Theater, when people waiting in line for a show would stick gum to the wall. The practice caught on, and the entire wall was soon full of ABC gum. People began sticking pennies into the gum, making shapes and writing words on the wall.

    At first, the gum was deemed unsanitary and was scraped off the wall. Then it came in such volume, employees of the theater gave up. In 1999, city officials recognized the wall was a tourist attraction. In 2015, it was completely cleared of gum, to prevent the bricks from eroding, but gum began appearing again almost immediately thereafter. The first gum to show up on the wall after the cleaning was in tribute to the victims of the Paris shooting in fall 2015. 

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  • 2

    Avanos Hair Museum

    Do you get creeped out by caves? What about a cave full of human hair? That's what you'll get if you go to the Avanos Hair Museum in Turkey. It started when Turkish potter Chez Galip said goodbye to a friend and asked for something to remember her by.  She cut off a lock of her hair.

    Later, whenever other female visitors or tourists came through town, he'd tell the story, and she'd be so moved (or so not willing to be outdone) she'd cut off a chunk of hair. Now, about 16,000 hair samples line the walls of the museum.

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  • 3

    The Jim Morrison Gum Tree

    Photo: Andy Hay / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Jim Morrison of The Doors passed in 1971, but his fan base is as big as ever. His most devoted followers make trips to see his grave at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, and some do a little something extra. There's a tree near Morrison's grave engraved with tributes to the late singer, which is something you might expect.

    Less expected? The tree is covered in gum. "The chewing gum is just a way for people to say 'I was here,'" said a tour guide from the cemetery.

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    Mütter Museum

    Photo: Philadelphia College of Physicians / Public Domain

    According to its website , Philadelphia's Mütter Museum is "America’s finest museum of medical history." Founded in 1858, it includes a human skull collection, President Grover Cleveland's jaw tumor, Einstein's brain, a wax model of a syphilitic face (pictured), a massive 40 pound human colon, and more. It also has the Soap Lady , who gets her name because, after her passing, all of her body's fat underwent saponification. Which means her fat literally turned into soap.

    And after visiting this museum, you may want to clean yourself with as much soap as possible. On your way out, maybe get a megacolon plushy in the gift shop though.

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