Since 1918, Robert Ripley’s collection has famously amazed and astounded the world. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium in Myrtle Beach showcases over 200 exhibits and artifacts within 12 themed galleries, spanning two floors. It’s 12,250 square feet of the eclectically bizarre, and it’s a must see for anyone visiting the Myrtle Beach area! What better way to get in the Halloween spirit than to see how you measure up to the world’s tallest man, find the elusive Fiji mermaid, or witness a genuine shrunken head?
The Unbelievable Mr. Ripley
Nicknamed the Modern Marco Polo, Robert Ripley was a cartoonist, reporter, explorer, adventurer, and avid collector. He spent 35 years scouring the globe for the most unbelievable exhibits, traveling to 201 countries in search of anything odd, unusual, or unexplained. In that time, he amassed a huge collection that inspired his popular newspaper cartoon, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.
Ripley’s first Believe It Or Not book, a collection of his newspaper cartoons, was published in 1929. In 1930, he started hosting a wildly successful weekly radio show, and more books followed. In 1931, he began filming several short documentaries to be shown in movie theaters, where he displayed some of his artifacts, drew cartoons on camera, and re-enacted fantastic stories of his travels.
Eventually, Mr. Ripley opened several Odditoriums, typically at World Fairs, to share his exotic collections up close with the public.
In 1949, Robert Ripley began starring in what is now considered the first “reality show” on television. During the filming of the 13th episode, he had a heart attack on stage while discussing the military funeral hymn “Taps.” After his death, a majority of his collection was sold at auction to New York City entrepreneur John Arthur. In 1950, Mr. Arthur opened the first permanent Ripley’s Odditorium in St. Augustine, FL. Today, there are 33 Believe It Or Not museums, in ten countries, including the one in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium in Myrtle Beach
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium houses some of the most mind-boggling oddities in all of Myrtle Beach. It is located right across from the beach and boardwalk at 901 North Ocean Boulevard, near other Ripley’s attractions like the Moving Theater 5D, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, and the Marvelous Mirror Maze. From the minute you walk in the door of the Odditorium, you know you are in for a strange journey. Human and animal oddities, insane visual illusions, and the most weird and wonderful stuff await you, but it’s up to you to decide whether you believe it or not!
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