38/52 Orlando Odditorium

Our June vacation to Orlando included a tour of the 10,000-square-foot Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium that appears to be sinking into a Florida sinkhole! (Okay, that’s the only thing in the brochure that isn’t true. Through scholarly research and irrefutable facts, all Ripley’s stories and exhibits are 100% authentic!)

There are more than 30 Believe It or Not! Odditoriums around the world, the brochure states, and the amazing world of Robert L. Ripley in Orlando includes 16 galleries and over 400 exhibits, including this Grab the Jewel illusion and the Vortex (see gallery), which were the only two attractions I really tried hard to get a decent photo of so I could  feature them here on the blog.

The jewel is actually a hologram. So on my second attempt I made sure to turn off the flash. I shot the tunnel standing at the entrance and made several adjustments before capturing the spinning motion. Both challenges were difficult, but hey, I tried my best.

Another shutterbug interrupted the flow of visitors through the museum while he took a photo of his lady companion. Everyone stopped a few moments to wait for the man to snap his photo before entering the next exhibit room. The flash went off, but he didn’t! I’ll admit the wax figure also fooled me for a couple of seconds.

If you are intrigued by the exhibit behind the cameraman, that’s The Incombustible Man Chamouni who sat inside an electric oven at a temperature high enough to cook a tray of meat! Believe It or Not!

Other oddities, curiosities and fun exhibits include The Pico De Gallo Art Car, people who could pop their eyes out of their sockets, Padaung and Ubangi women who stretch their necks and lips, a horse and rider made out of license plates, a shooting gallery, the world’s largest tire, and a collage of 600 images of Elvis, the King of Rock and Roll. FYI: The plaques about the MUSICAR and the Tracking Geronimo Paper Sculpture are interesting reads.

I didn’t snap photos of all the wild and bizarre, weird and wacky, exotic and eclectic, and kreepy, krazy and kooky exhibits because – believe it or not – Ripley’s is more fun without the camera.

Visit www.ripleys.com for more information on Ripley, the cartoonist, explorer, reporter, adventurer and collector who traveled to 201 countries in 35 years seeking odd, unique and authentic stories and artifacts for his vast collection.

Photo of the Week series: Every Sunday in 2012 I will either share a photo from my archives or something new I just can’t wait to get feedback on for future art shows/exhibits.

Blogger participation: My hope is to receive enough input on each week’s photo to later post a Bloggers’ Choice of the Month and wrap up 2012 with a Bloggers’ Choice of the Year.


2 thoughts on “38/52 Orlando Odditorium”

  1. I remember going to Ripley’s in San Francisco DECADES ago. It was a truly “believe it or not” experience because I found it weird and unbelievable. Back then it looked hokey. I believed it not. But I was young and sheltered and technology wasn’t advanced enough to make it believable. I would love to go to one now. Your post definitely has shown me that things are much better, and I am not sheltered anymore so I will be more open-minded. Love this post!

    1. Thanks, Dezra. Glad it brought back memories. Actually this is the second Ripley’s for us (it was a first for our vacation guest). The Ripley’s at Wisconsin Dells is even bigger and better! I have lots of photos from that one since it was my first experience and I sort of went crazy with my camera – believe it or not!! 🙂

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