A former teacher now owns the world’s largest collection of penises, with nearly 300 specimens on display at the first-ever museum dedicated to the male member.
Visitors to the Icelandic Phallological Museum in Reykjavik will find 282 penises of all shapes and sizes, from 93 different species of animal across the globe.
The bizarre collection spans from a huge sperm whale’s 1.7-metre phallus – the largest exhibited – to the tiny penis bone of a hamster.
The genitals of a polar bear, dolphins, a walrus, fish, an elephant and a man are also among those on display, some preserved in formaldehyde-filled glass containers and others dried and erected on the wall.
The museum even has a section on penises in Icelandic folklore, and claims to exhibit the phalluses of mythological creatures including an elf, a merman and the “the Nasty Ghost of Snaefiall”.
It also houses a range of genital-themed artifacts, among them totem poles and a telephone.
Visitors can often be heard giggling as they make their way around perhaps the most unusual tourist attraction in a country better known for its breathtaking scenery.
He began collecting penises as a child in 1974 after being given a bull’s penis to use as a whip on animals and he opened his museum in 1997 with 62 specimens after Hjartarson decided to put his eccentric hobby to use.
He told AFP:
“Some of my teachers used to work in summer in a nearby whaling station and after the first specimen they started bringing me whale penises, supposedly to tease me.
“Then the idea came up gradually that it might be interesting collecting specimens from more mammalian species.”
The fascination for all things penis has even become a family business. Hjortur Sigurdsson, the founder’s son took over in 2011 and set about modernising the museum.
“It all started as a joke. My father had fun just collecting, doing something no one has done before. He always said ‘somebody had to do it.”
Visitors can pick up souvenirs like “Designer condoms” and woollen “willy warmers”, knitted to resemble a snake and an elephant’s trunk.
But with phalluses taken from some of the world’s largest creatures on display, any men insecure about their own size might prefer to give the museum a wide berth.