This Online Twitter Museum Posts Ridiculously Interesting Finds, Here Are 50 Of The Best Ones Interview
There are three things that we believe without a shadow of a doubt. First of all, Planet Earth is ruled by a shadowy cabal of Feline Overlords—The Illumeownati who spread their influence through cat pics. Secondly, pineapple definitely belongs on pizza, and there’s nothing you can say that’ll change our minds. And finally: fact really is stranger than fiction.
The past is a far stranger land than many of us assume. We’re surrounded by weirdness every day on the internet, on the subway, and in our very own minds. But after taking a good long peek through the fuzzy black-and-white static into the decades and centuries that came before us, we can safely say that we’ve always been living in an extended special of The Twilight Zone.
From weird vintage contraptions, knick-knacks, and clothes to bamboozling products, ads, and inventions, some of the strangest things that human history and creativity has to offer end up being shared on ‘The Museum of Curiosities’ Twitter page, run by the Monsieur Pompier’s Travelling Freakshow musical group.
Cue the creepy carnival music and grab a bag of popcorn, Pandas, we’re about to travel back in time for a heavy dose of Weirdness with a capital ‘W.’ Don’t forget your fave pics, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments. Just… don’t feed the clowns. Intrigued by the pics? Check out Monsieur Pompier’s socials and album, too. Their music has a pretty cool vibe.
Bored Panda got in touch with Paul, aka Monsieur Pompier himself, and he was kind enough to tell us about the 'The Museum of Curiosities.' An incredibly cool thing is that he's actually planning on turning it into a real-life museum! This is the very first time he's revealed this publicly. "The big news is that I am turning the museum into a reality! Next year I am hoping to open my own real-life physical Museum of Curiosities here in my hometown of Dublin, Ireland. I can't say much more about it for now, but if anyone would like to help make this dream a reality they can donate here." Check out our full interview below, Pandas!
Paul, aka Monsieur Pompier, revealed to Bored Panda that originally, 'The Museum of Curiosities' was called 'Vintage Oddities.' "Then, after that, I used the account more as a vehicle for my band Monsieur Pompier's Travelling Freakshow. Over the past year or so I decided to go back to my roots with the account and focus more on weird curiosities and oddities of the past, especially as the idea to launch my own 'real life' museum was building day by day," he said.
"I took big inspiration from one of my favourite websites on the internet 'The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things' curated by Dr. Chelsea Nichols and Viktor Wynd's 'Museum Of Curiosities' in London as well as a bunch of other museums both real and fictional who operate in the same strange world as me. I'm a magpie for anything oddball and unusual, especially from the past so I'm always on the lookout for stories about things like old medical devices, bad taxidermy, the occult, bad inventions, weird unsolved mysteries, and so on.
Monsieur Pompier shared his thoughts with Bored Panda about why the Twitter account's content resonates with so many people. "People are always looking for something outside of the ordinary, something beyond their reality or as an escape from mundanity. It's probably similar to the success of ghost stories or horror movies, there seems to be a magnetism towards what frightens or unsettles us," he said.
"I think particularly now as we're living through the sterility of the internet age, these strange physical objects of the past with fascinating back stories harness an even greater aura of mystery and shine a light on bygone times and customs."
Paul mused that when the people of the future look back on this era, they might actually see it as "the second wave of quack medicine, with self-medication and the power of pharmaceutical companies growing all the time."
"Elsewhere, some of the face masks and skincare treatments currently available very much hark back to the often mocked beauty treatments of the 1930s and '40s. One thing I hope we will look back on with a great deal of cringe is the prevalence of the 'laughing-crying' emoji."
Finally, we were incredibly interested to hear about Paul's band, Monsieur Pompier’s Travelling Freakshow, their inspiration, and their passion for music.
"Monsieur Pompier's Travelling Freakshow is my very eccentric rock group and sometimes cabaret act. We've been performing all around Europe and in our homeland of Ireland since 2018 with a rotating cast of characters including The Ear Fairy, Guts The Cat, The Crabbit, as well as newcomers such as Betty Bogweed and Sister Whispers. On stage, I attempt to sing my ridiculous songs whilst the 'freaks' interact with me or the audience as they interpret and act out the story of their individual songs," he said.
"Our shows are very surreal and often end up in complete chaos—it's all about getting people out of their comfort zones. Last year, we were proud to release our debut album Teatime Terrors on Cleopatra Records and since then we've transformed into a fully-fledged four-piece live band. In many ways, the museum is an extension and evolution of the Travelling Freakshow, taking the concept to the next level."
Monsieur Pompier draws inspiration from horror stories, unsolved mysteries, psychedelia, experimental and new wave music, children's television of the 1970s and '80s. I enjoy taking mundane topics and blowing them up into something theatrical and grandiose—like a new song I'm working on called 'Billy Breakfast' about a neglected housewife who has an affair with her breakfast when the face in the pan comes to life."
At the time of writing, ‘The Museum of Curiosities’ had 17.4k loyal followers on Twitter. They focus on highlighting the unusual, the peculiar, and the low-key unsettling in their social media posts, and we think it works perfectly.
We don’t know about you, Pandas, but we’re pretty big fans of vintage weirdness. It’s a lot of fun when you start digging up all the odd ideas and behaviors the people of the past lived with. It helps put our modern world into context and how, after a few decades, we too might seem like complete oddballs to the humanity of the future.
‘The Museum of Curiosities’ is the brainchild of Monsieur Pompier’s Travelling Freakshow troupe. “A nightmarish cabaret steeped in the surreal, Monsieur Pompier makes music about inside-out cats, hedgehog swallowers, and devious doctors,” the band writes on its website.
The aim of the musical group is to “unite all oddballs and outcasts welcoming them into his midst with open arms.” In short, they’re all about inspiring others to embrace their own inner weirdness, and learning to recognize it—with a wide, toothy smile—in others. Created in 2017, the band signed up with Cleopatra Records in 2021. Their debut album, Teatime Terrors, is available in digital form, as well as in vinyl, which we think really suits the group’s vibe.
Vintage weirdness is a fascinating topic, and one that we’ve touched upon a number of times here at Bored Panda. For instance, a single glance at how much the beauty industry has changed over the past couple of centuries can really make your jaw drop.
Dr. Jane Nicholas, from St. Jerome’s University at the University of Waterloo, previously explained to Bored Panda that, as the world became more modern, more and more people moved to cities from the countryside. As such, it became difficult to know who everyone was, meaning that people began judging each other even more based on their appearances. This led to the beauty industry having even greater importance than before.
“When dislocated from their context, what was typical in one time period seems strange in another. Today, we see the highly filtered, fully made up selfie as quite ordinary. When you pause to consider it though, it is interesting to think about how those reflect changes in technology (both digital and in cosmetics), as well as in dominant presumptions of what is considered beautiful. It can also be reflective of the democratization of techniques in lighting and makeup application that were historically reserved for insiders within modeling. Now, anyone can use them,” Dr. Nicholas explained to Bored Panda.
“Using X-rays for hair removal [in the past], for example, also reflects the fact that technology emerges before the full impact of its use is known,” she said. “It’s quite ordinary today to inject a form of botulism into your face or to dress in the skin of another animal. Over time, though, as our collective beliefs and values change, these ordinary acts might come to be seen as extraordinary.”
Meanwhile, psychologist Lee Chambers told Bored Panda that the audience enjoys analyzing at the darker, stranger aspects of the human condition because of how we’re wired. "When considering why the darker side of humanity and entertainment are so compelling, we have to first look at our evolutionary journey as human beings. For the majority of our existence, we were prey and always hyperaware of threats to our safety, which created a negativity bias that we are drawn towards," he said.
"But in today's safe and often sanitized world, we are rarely threatened significantly, and the ability to explore evil, frightening and gruesome entertainment is one of the few ways we can visit this part of humanity while remaining safe and comfortable. There is a level of novelty to it, it removes boredom quickly, and it helps us to discover our emotional limits,” he explained why, for instance, many people are so drawn to the true crime genre.
As strange as the past seems to us now, we’ll almost inevitably end up being a source of amusement for the future inhabitants of Planet Earth. Though we might think of ourselves as rational, progressive people, we still hang on to a ton of superstitions. Meanwhile, as science continues to advance, technologies and behaviors that we’ve embraced as facts now may turn out to be far more nuanced in the future… or wrong, entirely.
Aaron Genest, from Siemens Software, told Bored Panda during an earlier interview that in order to predict the future, you have to look ‘upstream’ in the investment space. In other words, follow the money to see what tech will likely be widespread in the near future.
"For instance, it takes almost two years to develop and produce a computer chip and get it to market for a phone, and five years to get something into a new kind of car. So if we want to have a sense for what, for instance, the gadgets in our cars will look like in 2026, we just need to look at what the car manufacturers are asking their suppliers to design today,” he told us that investors aim to recoup the money they’d put in.
For Ramona Pringle, from the Creative Innovation Studio at Ryerson University, the future, no matter what shape it takes, is bound to hold a few unchanging things. “We love stories, and we love to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Be it oral storytelling, books, blogs, movies, or video games, we’ve never lost our love of narrative,” she said that these elements are very likely to be present in the way that the technology of the future is used.
“For the last decade, we’ve leaned into virtual reality because of how it enables both of these. We can step inside a world and have influence over it, and the story or experience that unfolds. I think one of the things we can expect moving forward is, in a sense, the opposite of virtual reality. Instead, more of an enhanced reality or fictional reality, wherein the entertainment isn’t in a headset, but instead, all around us,” Pringle told Bored Panda.
“A decade ago, we didn’t talk to robots. Today, many of us do. Siri and Alexa are some of the more common bots, but we already interface with non-human characters regularly. As technology advances, including augmented reality and mixed reality, I think we can expect that entertainment will be something we can engage with off of the screen, but out in the world, with characters and stories we can engage with throughout the day, or throughout our houses.”