What can one say about the world’s only known museum dedicated to the penis? Well, it’s smaller than I expected it to be. The Icelandic Phallological Museum located in the crotch heart of Reykjavik, is less of a museum, more a ballbag – sorry – ragtag collection of anything penis-shaped. The array of pickled animal penises on display feels more voyeuristic than scientific, and the rather enthusiastic collection of bawdy penis trinkets is unashamedly grotesque. The section focusing on the penises of mythical beings did prick my interest (sorry, I couldn’t resist) as it did vaguely touch on the fascinating world of Icelandic mythology. Such a shame there wasn’t more of it.
But enough of all this. Regardless of what this museum is trying to be, it was interesting, entertaining and absolutely hilarious whether intentional or not. I laughed raucously throughout my visit and was only disappointed that the collection wasn’t larger, so to speak.
Pickled penises from the animal kingdom
Penises of all shapes and sizes
Fat ones… this is the penis of a minke whale (I will never use a bail lid jar in my kitchen again)
… and huge ones. This is the penis of a sperm whale
As well as penises, the museum has a collection of marine-life foreskins. These are from various whales which the museum couldn’t resist labelling as ‘Moby Dick’
What better use of dead foreskins and scrotal sacs than to turn them into lamp shades?
… or even a hanging bask-sac? Sorry. Basket
Some of the huge collection of penis memorabilia on display
… including salt and penis shakers. Pepper! I meant pepper
For once I am not going to comment
A trouser snake coiled on the top shelf here
The more risqué items on display. Pall Arason was an Icelandic tour guide and serial womaniser who was very proud of his ‘size’. After his death in 2011 at the age of 95, Mr Arason’s sexual organs were donated to the museum as he had wished. Personally, I would have preferred a monetary donation
Possibly the oddest display of all at the museum is this: casts of all fifteen members of… er… the members of Iceland’s National Handball team. They won silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
I shudder to think how the female team would have been honoured if they had won a medal
According to the museum, this is a merman’s penis caught in an Icelandic fishing net in 1879
I didn’t expect trolls to have rock hard penises
The two penises on the right are from catafoxes – a cross between a cat and a fox. One was found dead in 1893, the other was found a few decades later. The penis on the left is from a Shadow Fox – a cross between a dog and a fox. The large specimen at the back is from a sea howler – Icelandic sea monster – caught in a net in the late seventeenth century
The penis on the left is from an Icelandic Beach-Walker, found in 1879 by a Icelandic man believed to be “acceptably intelligent”. The penis in the jar is from an Icelandic Beach-Murmurer: a one legged, one armed, one eyed and now penis-less human monster who liked to push people into the sea and drown them
The penis of the nasty ghost of Snaefiall
The nasty ghost of Snaefiall played tricks on the people of the Western Fiords during the early seventeenth century. He was finally killed off by his father who was a pastor, and the ghost’s penis was kept in the family until 1977 when it was donated to the museum.
… and the penis of a Hidden Man
Hidden People are believed to be the children of Eve who were kept out of sight from God by their mother because they were unwashed and she didn’t want to present dirty children to God. So God declared if he couldn’t see the children neither could anyone else. These children grew up to have children of their own and their offspring became known as elves. Humans can only see an elf if the elf wills it. So, if you can see anything in the jar above, then it’s probably a Pokemon Go monster.
One final mystery presented in the museum: is this loo really for ladies as well as for gentlemen? The door handle may suggest otherwise
The museum has a souvenir shop with the usual fare of phallic shaped nonsense
The problem with having spent the afternoon in a phallological museum, one can’t help but have penises on the mind for some time afterwards.
Icelandic street art. That’s definitely a mushroom. Isn’t it?
What on earth is the figure on the right of Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir’s sculpture looking at?
Clearly, he’s not looking at art
A poster in the window of a Reykjavik shop selling Icelandic made footwear
Someone’s got the horn
The Icelandic Phallological Museum is at Laugavegur 116, 105 Reykjavik, a short walk from the city centre. It is opened every day from 10am until 6pm. Entrance is (2016) ISK 1150 which is about £7.50.
More on the museum, the history behind the madness and how to… ahem… become an honorary member can be found at the official museum’s website here.
Hallgrimskirkja: pews, views and the best (and arguably only) place to take a Reykjavik selfie or two in front of
Hengill, Thingvellir and getting a bit steamy around here. Enjoying Southwest Iceland’s smoking fumaroles, volcanic craters and tectonic gorges
Froggyland: possibly the weirdest exhibition ever?