One of the most exciting and bizarre museums in America, this sprawling building houses one of the world’s largest collections of medical oddities. Affiliated with The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, it’s named for Thomas Dent Mütter, a 17th-century pioneer of reconstructive surgery and medical education who was fascinated by human anomalies and collected representations of them in a wide variety of forms.
Designed to look like a huge cabinet of curiosities, the 1908 museum (its original incarnation was opened nearby in 1868) contains over 20,000 medical specimens. Popular attractions include the tallest skeleton on display in North America; slides of Albert Einstein’s brain; the shared liver of Siamese twins Chang and Eng; and the preserved body parts and corpses of some of America’s most historically famous circus freakshow performers.
Each human abnormality featured in the museum is displayed alongside a drawing, photograph or wax model of its corresponding normality – which makes a visit here both educational and startling.