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Will You Believe It or Not? Visit the Largest Collection of Oddities

For those who are naturally curious, interested in the unusual or are fascinated with stories of oddities, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!Ⓡ museums and attractions around the country are a must-see.

The story behind Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is a fascinating one and was the brainchild of a man named Robert L. Ripley. Ripley was a writer, cartoonist and world traveler who became fascinated with what he saw around the world during his travels. In addition to collecting many unusual artifacts during his lifetime visiting 201 countries, he wrote stories and penned a cartoon column outlining the oddities of mankind and unusual fun facts he came across.

Robert L. Ripley.

Ripley published his first Believe It or Not! Cartoon in the New York Globe in December of 1918. On July 9, 1929, newspaper and media mogul William Randolph Hearst featured Believe It or Not! in hundreds of papers across the world. Hearst would go on to fund Ripley’s trips around the world as Ripley started a radio show and continued his work for eighteen years. Ripley would record his radio segments in some of the most unusual places around the world, such as in the middle of the ocean or within the depths of a cave, adding to the level of unusual. Ripley also went on to start a television show featuring his oddities.

St. Augustine, Florida

In 1933, Ripley opened his very first Odditorium at the Chicago World’s Fair showcasing some of his collection of oddities he had amassed. Over two million visitors when through the Odditorium at the World Fair and kickstarted what would be a sensation of oddities as Odditoriums would continue to open around the country. In 1950, St. Augustine, Florida became home to the first permanent Odditorium and still is open to visitors today.

31 Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums

In total, there are 31 Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums with locations in ten countries around the world. Ripley collected over 25,000 pieces and can still be seen on display today in addition to the pieces that continue to be adding to a growing collection. When visiting an Odditorium, you can see everything from a shrunken head to a two-headed calf. The collection includes art, science, photographs, statues, artifacts and everything in between.

Odditorium in St. Augustine

Each Odditorium location is completely unique with one-of-a-kind exhibits, making each stop a destination in and of itself. Stop by the original Odditorium in St. Augustine where you can see a motorcycle made out of bones and a built-to-scale model of the International Space Station built completely out of matchsticks! In St. Augustine, be sure to also check out Ripley’s Ghost Train Adventure. This haunted train ride features 80 minutes of exploration into the paranormal, giving visitors a spooky experience filled with the unknown. Tickets to the Ghost Train Adventure can be purchased in conjunction with the Odditorium admission.

There are several Odditoriums in locations where Continuing Education Company holds their live CME conferences including Ripley's Believe It or Not San Antonio, Ripleys Believe It or Not Key West and of course the original in St. Augustine. For more information on admissions to the Odditoriums, visit the websites online. Take in the wild and unusual by visiting Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Whether you choose to believe it… that’s for you to decide.

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