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13 In Art + Museums/ Iceland/ Travel

The Most Unique Museum I’ve Ever Visited – Icelandic Phallological Museum

I feel like I need to start this post off with a bit of a disclaimer. This post, is about a penis museum. Therefore, like the museum’s tagline, this post too is “all about dicks”. I don’t want to offend any of my readers, so if a quirky museum about penises doesn’t interest or amuse you, don’t continue reading.

First a Little Info About the Phallological Museum

This museum was created by Sigurður Hjartarson in 1997 and is now run by his son. His interest in penises started when he received a whip made out of a bull’s penis and just grew from there to a collection that now holds well over 200 penises and penile parts! In addition to actual mammalian penises, there is a collection of penis knickknacks and even some penises that belong to the creatures of folklore in Iceland. There are penises that vary between 67 inches and less than 1/10 of an inch.

While this seems like a cut and dry museum and you might think that it’s just rooms full of penises, there’s actually more to it. There are interesting facts, histories and more. I definitely left feeling like this was an experience worth the money both in interest, and in chuckles.

Left: one of the many examples of a whale penis. This one is a bit unique in the sense that they have the photos of it and the way it was acquired // Right: A funny depiction of penises if they were celebrities/characters – one of the many things that made me giggle.

You know that 67 inch penis?

This is it! I just had to stand next to it for scale (I’m 5’3″) this blue whale penis is just over two inches taller than I am! WOAH! Talk about Moby Dick!

  

One thing I truly found interesting is that most mammals, including other primates have a bone in their penises. I definitely didn’t know that.

While some of the specimens were kept in glass jars, other had been dried, sort-of leathered and made into alternative things, like this planter/vase made from a whale penis.

  

There’s an interesting room that has some different displays about homo sapiens. Some are works of art (like the arial view of the Abbas Giant in Dorset (also pictured below right). The photo on the right (above) is a display about ‘Elmo’.

Who’s Elmo, You Ask?

At one point, an American man named Tom Mitchell, had decided that he wanted to donate his penis, even before he had died, to the museum. However, as told in the documentary ‘The Final Member’, he apparently got really picky, and honestly a little weird, about his penis and wanted it to spend part of the year back in California in his possession. Super odd, huh? Turns out after all this, the owner decided to pass up this donation and instead there are articles about it, comics about it and even a mold of it.

This interesting display is an homage to the 2008 Olympic Handball Team from Iceland. They came in second, so in celebration of their silver metals, they made silver casts of themselves to put on display. I’m sure their mothers are proud 😉

The Penises of Folklore:

This was actually my favorite part of the museum. I loved how true to Icelandic culture they kept for this museum. Folklore is huge in Iceland, a large majority of the population still believes in fairies and elves. So, of course, they included a handful of members from folklore. One example is from a hidden man (top left) which is a type of elf that chooses to keep itself hidden. The second is a troll (top right). This specimen is from a troll found in a mine in Sweden in 1890 and was donated just last year. Lastly, I wanted to share the merman specimen (below) and, of course, it’s green.

  

There are several specimens from whales, seals, hamsters, a polar bear and even some that were sent from North America and beyond.

Is There A Human Specimen?

 There is! They actually have a pair of testicles on display and a foreskin (pictured left). The sample on the right, a homo sapiens penis, was actually donated from an Icelandic man at the age of 95. Apparently the penectomy wasn’t done as well as Sigurður (the owner) had hoped. In addition to that, he has regrets about how he displayed it. However, he was quoted as saying that he would “get a younger and a bigger and better one soon”.

You can’t leave the museum without passing through the gift shop. It contains things with logos from the museum and some novelty items that are sure to make you giggle. I thought the museum was so entertaining, and honestly informative, that I wanted something to document this experience. I chose a tote with their tagline.

Want to learn even more about this museum? Check out their website or the documentary ‘The Final Member’.

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Candy
    March 1, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Wow! What in interesting museum! I have never been to one quite like this. This actually reminded me of the Penis Festival in Japan. I’ve never been to it, but I have a few friends that have. Also, the bone in penis fact was definitely an interesting one 🙂

  • Reply
    mappingmegan
    March 1, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    We missed visiting this museum when we were in Iceland! It actually seems quite fascinating from an “interested in species” point of view! … can’t think of the right word for that right now! But yes, quite quirky and seems good for a bit of a giggle 🙂

  • Reply
    Nano @ Travel With Nano B.
    March 2, 2017 at 12:56 am

    Paige, this made me laugh out loud. What an amusing AND fascinating place at the same time! Reminds me the penis festival I attended in Japan last year.

  • Reply
    Jen Morrow
    March 2, 2017 at 5:47 am

    That is a weird museum. The Icelandic pride to have Olympic team submit for silver molds is leaving me speechless. The animal exhibits are fascinating and I suppose this would still be considered natural history. But I have no words for some of the art & less science-y exhibits.

  • Reply
    lydia@lifeuntraveled
    March 2, 2017 at 11:12 am

    So interesting and weird and funny! I learned that I’m the same height as the penis of a blue whale! I don’t think Grace Jones would be happy, though, because she’s a woman not a man…..lol.

  • Reply
    travelerettenyc
    March 2, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I’ll be in Iceland this summer so maybe I’ll check it out. That story about the American who wanted to donate his penis but then got too picky about it is just too weird. And I laughed at your Moby Dick joke. I think the member is missing on our blue whale in the Museum of Natural History in NYC!

  • Reply
    Laura
    March 2, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Love how weird this is. I visited a similar spot in Korea except it was sex positions and even had a dildo museum. Pretty funny as the culture there is pretty repressed when it comes to sexuality!

  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    March 2, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    This was such an amazing article to read. The museum is just one of a kind and maybe the only one. It is quirky and yet interesting. The blue whale penis was HUGE! They have a truly amazing display!

  • Reply
    Invisibly Me
    March 3, 2017 at 7:19 am

    That’s a lot of penii (I prefer this pluralisation, sounds better than penises), and a 67″ one looks rather scary! Definitely an intriguing museum, very novel! x

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      March 6, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      I actually do too; I say it that way all the time, but I wasn’t sure if others would find it as amusing as I do! It was very interesting and well-worth the visit.

  • Reply
    Best Museums Around the World Shared by Travel Bloggers - For the Love of Wanderlust
    March 29, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    […] For the Love of Wanderlust – Icelandic Phallological Museum – Reykjavik, Iceland […]

  • Reply
    whichwaytothebeats
    May 3, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Can’t believe I missed this one when I was in Iceland. Definitely looks, ur, ah, yeah, unique…

  • Reply
    Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad
    October 7, 2017 at 5:55 am

    Haha, this was one of my highlights of Iceland!! Definitely surreal. I also loved the gift shop! lol

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