If you’re willing to make the effort, here’s our rundown of the most ridiculous attractions to visit around the world.
But Japan’s latest blows them all away, with a museum dedicated to one of the country’s most celebrated inventions: the robotic toilet. Opened in December, to celebrate the centennial of Toto, the innovator behind the Washlet, this £40 million museum charts the birth of the Japanese crapper from antique ceramic potty-bowl to bidet-splashing, cheek-warming, cranny-washing triumph. When nature calls, you’ll never look at the humble loo the same way again.
Described as the ‘germiest’ place on Earth, this notorious dead zone at the back of Pike Place Market was never intended as an attraction. But for the past 20 years, lazy tourists and chewing gum vandals have left cloggy dollops behind on the alley as a memento, sticking more than one million blobs of goo to the walls – that’s more than 150 pieces of gum per brick.
Despite a heavy-duty steam-clean last November, the wall continues to be redecorated by hardcore fans in a rainbow spray of bubblegum. Some say its crowd-sourced art, others say it’s Jackson Pollock for idiots. Grit your teeth and dive right on in. If you’ve come this far, you deserve no sympathy.
Then things got really silly: Queensland rolled out a whole supermarket shelf’s worth of super-sized kitsch – the Big Pie, the Big Peanut, the Big Paperclip – while Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and Robertson in New South Wales hit all-time lows. For that, look no further than the Big Dustbin or the Big Potato.
Some deluded travellers see ticking off all 150 as a worthy lifetime challenge – but those in the real world choose to see Australia’s other Big Things, the Great Barrier Reef, Red Centre and Uluru.
If you’re still curious, consider this: Kiama in New South Wales is the proud home of the Big Poo.
That’s the so-good-it’s-bad highlight at Shiprock, a town on the brink of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona. The crosshair point is marked by a second-rate brass LP-shaped disc, but what really makes it worthwhile is it’s in the wrong spot – an error worthy of a comedy klaxon horn honk.
The right point, according to locals, is 600m away. Located in the sweltering heat of the badlands desert, it’s since become a sweaty pilgrimage for hundreds of misled tourists each year.
But jumping on the bandwagon isn’t always a good idea. Just ask Dudley about its “Dudl-Eye”.
For £4.50 a spin, it was possible to get a bird’s eye view of the Black Country town’s skyline. Cue a 35m-high ride past an abandoned bingo hall, the town centre car park, and several close-ups of grey, concrete misery.
When it opened in March for a month-long stint it was lampooned as the worst tourist attraction in the UK.
Wise guy entrepreneurs have set up a fake college – Damnation University, of course – the high street store issues death certificates and scorched postcards, and its themed mini-golf course is modelled on Satan’s fiery abode of the damned.
Want more? Drop in to hokey gelato parlour Scream’s Ice Cream where they serve scoops in miniature coffins.
Top image: The big lobster, Australia © Ninefiver Media/Shutterstock