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Tokyo Is Home to a Museum Full of Parasites

Do you like museums? Do you like parasitical life forms? Do you plan to visit Tokyo, Japan, one day? Then you’re likely going to be very happy to discover that the city is home to the Meguro Parasitological Museum, a vast exhibition dedicated to exploring life-sucking creatures, including an Instagram-friendly 28.9-foot-long tapeworm.

Step inside the two-story attraction and you’ll discover more than 300 species of parasites on display, with well over 60,000 housed there in total. (Scholars can also peruse 50,000 papers and over 5000 books.) The first floor is devoted primarily to parasites that feast on animals, while the second floor puts the focus on species that prefer human consumption. Specimens including nematodes, trematodes, and malaria parasites jockey for visitors’ attention with liver flukes. You won’t want to leave.

Visitors should probably know in advance that some of the displays are merely disturbing, while others are slightly more ghastly, including preserved parasites still occupying their animal hosts. But if you’ve ever wanted to see a photo of a tropical bug prompting a human testicle to swell to the size of a gym bag, this is the place for you.

The museum was founded in 1953 by Dr. Satoru Kamegai and is thought to be the only one of its kind in the world. And yes, there’s a gift shop.

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