Tourist Attraction

Curious Things on Display at Ye Olde Curiosity Shop

Here's where to go when you want your mummy.

By Neal Thompson May 23, 2013 Published in the June 2013 issue of Seattle Met

 Writer Neal Thompson has seen some strange stuff. Not only did he research the weird world of Robert Ripley for his new biography A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert "Believe It or Not!" Ripley, he dug around Ye Olde Curiosity Shop for Seattle Met.

Here are just some of the weird olde things he found there:

Sylvester the Mummy Believed to be a shooting victim whose body was preserved by the Arizona desert, Sylvester has been studied by experts and was featured in a National Geographic documentary.

Costumed fleas A woman in Mexico made miniature costumes for fleas, turning them into a tiny bride and groom, among other things.

Oil paintings on pin heads Scenes such as Mount Rushmore and a bullfight were painted with a human hair.

• Shrunken heads The shop boasts the biggest collection of baseball-sized heads on display outside of Ecuador. “They’re the real thing,” says fourth-generation proprietor Andy James, assuring any doubters.

Hundred-year-old mermaid The specimen was created by a Chinese taxidermist who allegedly stitched together parts of a monkey, a seal, and a fish. “It’s probably the only thing we have that isn’t real,” says James.

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