Museum of World Treasures
Location: Wichita, Kansas (835 E. 1st St.)
When to visit: 10 am – 5 pm daily (12-5 pm on Sundays)
Cost: $8.95 adults / $6.95 kids
Time needed to enjoy: 30-60 minutes
The Museum of World Treasures in Wichita is truly a bizarre place. They have a nice collection of artifacts that have nothing to do with each other. They’ve gathered up as much old stuff as they could get their hands on, then put them all together under one roof and tied them together by calling them “world treasures.”
To wit, you walk in and see a giant dinosaur skeleton (which is unfortunately only 60% real).
And right across from the dinosaur is a piece of the Berlin Wall.
Both cool exhibits, right? But the lack of cohesion is jarring. It’s enough to make your head explode.
Wichita evidently isn’t large enough to support a separate Science Museum, Sports Museum, Pop Culture Museum, Art Museum, Astronomy Museum, and History Museum, so they’ve essentially combined them all into one. That’s the Museum of World Treasures. It’s kinda clever, but also really weird.
Allow myself to share some more examples of the insane scope of this facility. They have an Egyptian mummy from around 1000 BC (she had braided hair, stood about 4’10” and was in her late 20s when she died)…
…lots of art from the Far East, including ancient Buddha statues…
…a Babe Ruth-signed baseball…
… Marilyn Monroe’s purse and gloves…
… and fossilized dinosaur poop.
Other sights include a 3 million year old mastodon tooth, a Korean War video featuring the soothing voice of Robert Stack on narration, a 34-star American flag dating between 1861 and 1863, Lucille Ball’s pearl necklace, and the pitchfork used in the movie The Wizard of Oz.
And, of course, General Custer’s britches right where they belong, next to a bison skull. Yes, these are the long underwear worn by Custer well before he made his last stand.
And here’s a genuinely cool sight: A fossil showing one fish eating another. That’s a Mioplosus labracoides, a member of the perch family, gulping down a Knightia eocaena, a little herring-like fish. It’s an action photograph from 50 million years ago!
From World War II memorabilia to George Foreman’s boxing gloves, the Museum of World Treasures will leave you scratching your head.