Pictured Above: Prada Marfa art piece in Valentine, TX
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons
The United States is a vast place. With 50 states and 3.8 million square miles of land, you’re bound to find some weird stuff. Between museums, tourist attractions, and interesting anomalies found on the roadside, there are a bunch of interesting things to learn about.
Museums are the perfect places to bring the weird and interesting of the world all in one place. One interesting place is the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, Mexico (Love Exploring). The museum was founded in 1992 to research the mysteries behind the famous “Roswell Incident” (where an Air Force balloon crashed into a ranch near Roswell, inciting rumors surrounding aliens and government cover-ups). Today, the museum documents more than just the incident, including crop circles, abductions, and ancient astronaut theories. Another museum surrounding unsolved mysteries is the International Paranormal Museum and Research Center located in Somerset, Kentucky (Only in Your State). Located in the basement of the Carnegie Arts Building, the museum documents all things paranormal, including Bigfoot sightings and creepy dolls. They even give you the opportunity to walk around the museum with a paranormal activity detector to see if you can detect any spiritual energy within the museum.
While they might not necessarily be destinations on their own, the United States has some interesting roadside landmarks one might find around the United States. For instance, in Stratton, Colorado, one can find a 419.99 mile mark on Interstate 70 (Atlas Obscura). After recreational marijuana became legal, the 420 mile mark started to go missing on the interstate. After getting tired of having to replace the sign, the Department of Transportation replaced the sign with a 419.99 mile marker. While that sign has also been stolen before, the amount of sign stealing incidents have gone down. Another interesting find is the life-size pink elephant located in Barboursville, West Virginia (Buzzfeed). Rumor has it that it was a husband's present for his wife while he was on business, so they put it in front of their store. It can be seen off of Route 60.
Every once in awhile, one can come across assorted landmarks and art pieces on the road. One of my personal favorites is the pop art Prada Marfa near Valentine, Texas (Atlas Obscura). The store was thought up by a Berlin artist team Elmgreen and Dragset. The building was meant to be biodegradable so that the store would sink into the ground eventually. Miuccia Prada herself was consulted on the project, even handpicking the pieces to be added to the store. After a vandalization incident, the store became fully alarmed and armored up to prevent vandals from breaking in. Even the bags have the bottoms cut out, and all the shoes available are right-footed. Even today, the fake store still attracts some curious tourists. Another interesting landmark is Carhenge, located in Alliance, Nebraska (Time Out). Carhenge, as one might guess is a replica of Stone Henge made out of old junkyard cars. It turns out that the dimensions of the cars match the dimensions of the stones in the real Stonehenge. Jim Reinders built it as a memorial to his father, and the dedication was held on the summer solstice of 1987.
The United States is full of weird and interesting finds, museums, and public art pieces. Whether it’s an alien museum in New Mexico or a pink elephant in West Virginia, there are tons of interesting things hidden amongst the mundane.