Through the years, Silberberg has built up his collection of air sickness bags. Now he has around 2,400 unique air sickness bags with 2,216 currently catalogued on his Air Sickness Bag Virtual Museum (airsicknessbags.com). Funnily enough, he still has no clear idea why he collects them. “At first, I figured I’d be the only one. I was wrong, of course. I found out that there are well over 100 people worldwide who either collect or have collected air sickness bags and have amassed a substantial amount (say over 50) of them.
An American woman who calls herself Pikabellechu holds the Guinness World Record for having the largest Pokemon collection in the world. Okay, so that’s not really weird, but consider Australian Graham Barker, who holds the Guinness World Record for having the world’s largest collection of navel fluff."
Why in the world would anybody want to collect stuff from belly buttons?
German Martin Mihál has a collection of around 40,000 empty chocolate wrappers from around the world; John Reznikoff from Connecticut, USA, holds the Guinness World Record for the largest and most valuable collection of hair from celebrity and historical figures; Carol Vaughn from Birmingham, Britain, has collected more than 5,000 bars of soap since 1991; and Karen Ferrier, also from Britain, is a Dalmatian-obsessive woman who owns a collection of 3,500 spotty items accumulated over 17 years.
And it’s not just individuals who have a penchant for weird things. There are entire museums dedicated to the weird and wacky. The Museum of Burnt Food (yes, you read right) in Arlington, Virginia, founded by Deborah Henson Conant, is dedicated to carbonised culinary masterpieces (i.e. accidentally burnt food), the British Lawnmower Museum features (you guessed it) lawnmowers, while the Asphalt Museum in Sacramento, California, has a large collection of everything asphalt.
The most interesting museum would be the Icelandic Phallological Museum, located in a tiny Icelandic fishing town of Husavik. Run by Sigurdur Hjartarson, the museum showcases an extensive collection of 276 penises from whales, seals, bears and other mammals. The museum finally received its first human specimen (!?!) in April this year.
There must be something driving people to strange items. Here’s an insight into why a few individuals feel the need to collect certain objects.