Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! is a franchise founded by Robert Ripley, an American cartoonist, entrepreneur and amateur anthropologist. Bizarre events and items so strange, it makes you question the claims. All Access Blog made a visit to the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Odditorium in Hollywood, CA to see just how odd things are!
WANG; The “Human Unicorn” had a 14 inch horn growing out of his head.
JIVARO INDIAN WARRIOR; The Jivaro are famous for shrinking the heads of their enemies. Although they no longer practice shrinking heads (tsantsa), this legendary tribe still exists and inhabits an area larger than Switzerland on the eastern slopes of South America.
CYCLOPS LAMB; This one-eyed cyclops lamb was born in North England in 1996.
RIPLEY’S SECRET FACT: The shrunken heads were some of the first oddities received by the odditorium.
EDWARD HAGNER (1892-1962); A circus performer, Hagner is named the “World’s Thinnest Man”, growing to a height of 5 feet 7 inches, he never weighed more than 50 lbs. His size is caused by Simmond’s Disease (a ruptured pituitary gland).
MARIA JOSE CRISTERNA; Named the “World’s Most Unusual Woman”, Maria used to be a lawyer. She is now a tattoo artist and the world’s most unusual woman. Almost 100% of her body is covered in tattoos. Many of them symbolizing parts of her childhood and past family misfortunes. Maria has titanium horns implanted around her head, across her upper chest and down her forearms, real implanted fangs, body piercings, stretched ears and two small metal horns that screw and unscrew into the center of her forehead.
MICHAEL JACKSON THRILLER FANGS; The original molding for MJ’s “werewolf-monster” fangs from the Thriller music video, sculpted by Rick Baker, an Oscar winning makeup/special effects artist.
RIPLEY’S SECRET FACT: The odditorium used to be a bank, a speak-easy, a dentist office and apartments.
JAMES BROWN GOLDEN DRUM AWARD; Presented to James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, on June 29, 2001. This Golden Drum Martin Luther King Award honors JB’s contribution to the “Music Movement”.
STEVIE WONDER’S CONTRACT; Stevie Wonder signed his contract to appear on the hit song “We Are The World”, with 2 fingerprints rather than his signature.
MARILYN MONROE’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE; “Marilyn” or “Monroe” wasn’t in her name when she was born. Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jean Mortenson which she changed to Norma Jean Baker, then later to Marilyn Monroe.
MARILYN MONROE’S FOOTPRINTS; Marilyn’s original concrete footprints were actually lost over 50 years ago. These footprints are actually a personal copy from Sid Grauman made in 1953.
PHRENOLOGY BUST; Founded as a science in 1790. Phrenology followers believe a person’s mental faculties can be investigated by feeling bumps and lines on the outside of the head. This bust was created by 19th century phrenologist, Lorenzo N. Fowler; it details exactly which part of the brain he believed controlled every human faculty.
RIPLEY’S SECRET FACT: The odditorium used to be adjoined to the Max Factor Building which is now the Hollywood Museum.
WEST AFRICAN FANTASY COFFIN (NIKE SIZE 36); The Ga people of Ghana, Africa, often ordered designer fantasy coffins that reflect the occupation, status or achievements of the deceased.
LIU CH’UNG; “The Most Eyes”, Liu was born with 2 pupils in each eye. He became governor of Shansi, China and minister of state in 995 A.D.
The manager at Ripley’s in Hollywood, Cory, welcomed us, gave us some museum history and let us take a picture, through a secret compartment, next to the cyclops lamb, something less than 12 dozen people have done! To check out all of the odditorium’s oddities plan a visit to Ripley’s. For more info and locations around the globe, head to ripleys.com.