Keeper of the Plans

Some of the craziest things from ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not’ coming to Wichita

2017: Ripley’s exhibit opens in North Carolina’s Discovery Place

(FILE VIDEO -- 2017) The exhibit is called "Ripley's Believe It or Not," and it includes many displays from a giant snake to the world's smallest sculptures. (Charlotte Observer)
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(FILE VIDEO -- 2017) The exhibit is called "Ripley's Believe It or Not," and it includes many displays from a giant snake to the world's smallest sculptures. (Charlotte Observer)

Exploration Place is getting a little weird this summer.

We’re talking shrunken heads, sculptures so small they have to be seen through a microscope, and two-headed cows.

It’s all part of “The Science of ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!’,” the museum’s latest traveling exhibition — which opens Saturday and runs through the summer.

“Just because something’s unbelievable doesn’t mean it’s unexplainable,” said John Corcoran, director of traveling shows for Ripley’s Entertainment. “We take all that crazy, weird Ripley’s stuff, and ... not only are we going to show you this stuff, but we’ll also show you how it’s scientifically possible.

“But don’t tell the kids that.”

The exhibition was created six years ago in partnership with the Science North interactive museum in Canada.

It features plenty of sections where people can not only see but also interact with what’s on display.

Admission to the exhibit is included with a museum ticket — $10.50 for adults 12-64, $9 for seniors 65+, $7 for youth 3-11 and free for children 2 and under.

Looking for some of the wackiest things at the exhibit?

Here are five of the more interesting things you can see at Exploration Place:

  • Three shrunken heads, and a video explaining how the Shuar tribe shrunk heads
  • Micro-sculptures by Willard Wigan, a British sculptor whose works are so small they fit inside the eye of a needle and have to be seen through a microscope
  • Portraits constructed out of unique materials — Albert Einstein made with burnt toast, Benjamin Franklin made with computer keys, Martin Luther King Jr. made with stamps, Justin Bieber made from candy, Barack Obama made with a phone book, and more
  • A skeleton (and taxidermy) of a two-headed calf and an albino porcupine
  • A room where people can dance in front of a screen that creates and projects computer-generated silhouettes on the wall. (It’s a lot less complicated than it sounds.)

Exploration Place is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays.

For more information, visit www.exploration.org or call 316-660-0600.

Matt Riedl covers arts and entertainment news for the Wichita Eagle and has done so since 2015. He maintains the Keeper of the Plans blog on Facebook, dedicated to keeping Wichitans abreast of all things fun.


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