At some point or another, we’ve all visited a museum and gazed in wonder at the sheer selection of items on display. Housing some of the most ancient finds in the history of mankind, museums enable us to come face to face with our own history, interacting with our ancestors and the culture that they helped to create. While exhibits can vary from the very old right through to the scientific and the contemporary, the fascination in which we hold them is found across the board.
Across the globe, however, there is a whole load of museums doing things a little differently, taking influence from the tried and tested methods and throwing them out of the window. Home to some of the most unusual and unique collections in the world, these places are truly one of a kind and have been enticing people to visit them from every corner of the globe. Working at museums like these, then, is a very coveted thing indeed, and they hold a very real influence for fans of the stranger things in life.
With so many different and diverse museums in the world, choosing the most incredible is a very hard task indeed. What are the best museums to work for around the world? To find out, we need to take a trip into the extraordinary.
1. Cancun Underwater Museum (Mexico)
For thrill seekers who like to get interactive with their jobs, the Cancun Underwater Museum in Mexico is pretty much the most perfect place to work. Located – you guessed it – under the Cancun Sea, the museum is made up of a collection of hundreds of clay figures, all created by designer Jason deCaires Taylor. Constructed out of pH-neutral clay, the exhibition is designed to be as gentle to the surrounding environment as possible, encouraging fish and wildlife to make the sculptures a part of their home. Manning the museum means working a speedboat, going on regular dives, and hanging out in the crystal clear waters just off the coast of Cancun. That’s not bad for a paid day’s work.
2. Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park (Malaysia)
Of course, it’s not just about the weird and the wonderful, and there are a number of museum experiences that are truly out of this world. If you’re into the best of Mother Nature, then you might want to make a beeline for the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park. Spread over a whopping 80,000 square feet of landscaped gardens, the Butterfly Park is one of the most naturally beautiful places in its surroundings and it hosts an army of outdoor-loving employees. More than 5,000 butterflies can be seen flying around the tropical plants and trees, and what you see on any given day might be completely different from the next. Getting up close and personal with the best of Mother Nature, the employees of the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park know a thing or two about beauty and get to share it with hundreds of visitors each day.
3. International UFO Museum and Research Center (USA)
People who live in Roswell, New Mexico seem to have a natural affinity for planets very far away and it makes sense that those who work in the city would follow a career into the unexplained and strange. Workers at the International UFO Museum and Research Center are sitting on a goldmine of intrigue and speculation, located at the heart of one of the most notorious areas for alleged alien sightings in the world. Taking a closer look at the strange events of 1947, in which an extraterrestrial aircraft was believed to have crashed to earth nearby, the museum pulls in believers and skeptics from all across the world. Workers are no stranger to controversy, either, and in the exhibits, they talk about the government’s attempts to cover up the crash and deny the events. Whether you come away a believer or not is up to you.
4. Museum of Vampires and Legendary Creatures (France)
Paris might be home to some of the most impressive and formidable museums in the world, but that doesn’t mean that it is all about high culture and the arts. Look a little closer at the city’s glittering façade, and you might be amazed at what you will find lurking beneath. The Museum of Vampires and Legendary Creatures is just one place giving the city a darker edge, dedicated to the housing of all things spooky and weird. Unsurprisingly, the museum’s staff is largely fans of the occult and horror, so if you’ve got a taste for the creepy, you might set the museum in your career paths. With collections of Hammer Film memorabilia, vampire killing instruments, and antique books, the museum pays homage to the undead and leaves a lasting impression on all who visit.
5. International Spy Museum (USA)
Don’t be surprised if people who are employed by the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC keep tight lipped about their profession. Employed by a place dedicated to the art of undercover sleuthing, it’s practically their job to avoid interrogation. Packed with some of the most incredible spy material in the world, the museum is a treasure trove of government secrets and classified objects, and leaking the information you see inside might just land you in hot water. For workers at the museum, every day’s an adventure and an opportunity to unearth a few more of the world’s greatest mysteries. Home to its very own School for Spies, the International Spy Museum seems to have a few secrets of its own, and working there might just be your way into an exotic life of mystery and undercover missions.
6. Gelato Museum (Italy)
Hands up if you would like to work in a place where it was your job to be surrounded by gelato and gelato-related objects all day, every day? Never one to struggle with finding new employees, the Gelato Museum really is one a kind and, for its workers, is one of the best places to work in the world. Located in – you guessed it – Italy, the Gelato Museum is the world’s authority on all things creamy and frozen, offering an insight into the dessert’s long history and invention. Unsurprisingly, the tour ends with a visit to a gelato shop located just next door which workers take full advantage of.
7. Circus World Museum (USA)
Who said that museums had to be stuffy rooms with display cases? The Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin is certainly one place making the case for an alternative museum experience and, with its collection of outdoor exhibitions and interactive acts, it’s certainly making a convincing go of it. Dedicated to the lives and performance pieces of some of the greatest entertainers to have ever lived, the Circus World Museum sure knows how to put on a show, and is home to some of the most weirdly talented staff in the world. Every day during the summer months, there is an elaborate circus performance in which employees really show what they can do with their bodies. Prepare to be seriously amazed.
See Also: How to Become a Museum Curator
Museums are some of the most fascinating places around the world and, for the people that get to work at them every day, are a real source of wonder and inspiration. While visiting the world’s museums once might be all we need to check them off our “to-do” lists, to really get to know them, we have to take significantly longer getting to know their exhibits and collections. Museum workers at these places have some of the most unique jobs in the world, getting to see an alternate side of life, every day. Want to explore your niche hobby? Try doing so as the employee of a weird and wonderful museum!
Do you work at any of these awesome museums, or have done so in the past? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!