Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Meguro Parasitological Museum.

Dolphin brain worms on display at the Meguro Parasitological Museum. This delightful photo is borrowed from Kat Kuster's blog K and G in Japan.

I want to gush for a moment about one of the coolest museums I've had the good fortune to visit. Nine years ago, I spent an afternoon at the Meguro Parasitological Museum with Dave Maass, my constant companion while I was studying in Tokyo my senior year of college. It is difficult for me to properly convey how intense and alarming this museum is.

Imagine exploring several floors of disgusting parasitic wonder, displayed beautifully in glass containers in front of a cheerful blue wall. On the shelves you might see a jar containing a dolphin's brain infested, nay, spilling with worms; a full-size tapeworm that is nearly 9 meters long floating in a tube of fluid; entire preserved animals that are bursting with revolting bodily invaders... and there is even a museum shop where you can purchase a t-shirt with a sparkly, puffy paint image of a flatworm. Truly incredible. (I bought one of the t-shirts for my sister, and an epoxy keychain with an embedded parasite of some kind...)

Also interesting was the guest book, which was absolutely packed with a plethora of funny little notes from visitors. My favorite was an exitedly scrawled "SO HORRIBLE!!!" in bubbly letters next to a drawing of a brightly smiling face with huge, gleaming eyes. That kind of sums up my experience too.


  1. Oh man, that place was rad. I've still got all my slides and truly regret not picking up that tapeworm t-shirt.