Inconspicuously located in the Culver City/Palms district of Los Angeles, this mysterious den-like museum refers to itself as “an educational institution dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and the public appreciation of the Lower Jurassic.” Detailed information on the actual contents of the museum is quite vague and leaves one wondering, just what is this place? I decided to do some investigating of my own, and am now able to shed a ray of light on this provocative little haven of curiosities and rarities; scientific, historic and artistic in nature. I can sum up this museum easily in just one word: otherworldly.
Without giving too much away, as well as adhering to the very strict no-photo policy, I will give you a penned glimpse into this cavern of oddities. Completely fascinating.
A quick logistics rundown first. Street and free meter parking were pretty easy to find on a Sunday afternoon. Admission is a donation of $8 per adult (well worth it!) with varying discounted costs for other visitors. Uniquely stocked gift shop to peruse upon the completion of your visit. I will note that it was rather uncomfortably warm inside on the day I visited, which admittedly did slightly take away from my overall enjoyment, though not a deal breaker. I would suggest throwing a fund raiser for museum-wide air conditioning. Be a good egg and show respect for their repeated postings that clearly prohibit photographs from being taken. This is a very small and peculiarly offbeat museum, so it only seems decent to follow their rules and let others visually experience it for themselves.
Random animal horns, including one that was once attached to a human
A mole skeleton, the real deal
Bug and moth displays aplenty
Handwritten letters and notes regarding experiments, inventions, miracles and disasters
Opera singer’s personal affects in an uber-creepy room with opera music playing
Old time tobacco pipes and… salted teeth, yes that’s right
Fossil of a human/ape hybrid
A room of personal antique collections
Micro miniature sculptures in and on top of the eye of a needle including Goofy, Napoleon and Pope John Paul II
Intricate display of handmade model trailers
Handsomely painted dog portraits
String designs and fortune telling tricks
Tales, spells, folklore and history galore
And do make sure to spend a little time indulging on tea and cookies in the Tula Tea Room and stepping outside on to the secret rooftop garden, complete with a columbarium and birds. Whimsical and celestial vibe up there.
Arouse your senses. Awaken your brain cells. Nourish your intellectual and cultural inner nerd. You won’t be disappointed.