Discover oddities and wonders from around the world. If you have an affinity for the strange, Ripley’s in Panama City Beach is a can’t miss.
Robert Ripley was a well-known world traveler. He visited 201 countries within 35 years. He set out to collect anything unusual or strange that he encountered. After Robert Ripley’s untimely death, the very first Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium opened in 1950 in St. Augustine, Florida.
The Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Panama City Beach has four main attractions:
- The Odditorium
- Laser Race
- 7D Moving Theater
- Mirror Maze Challenge
Ripley’s Odditorium is certainly what most visitors come to see.
One of the most bizarre pieces in the collection is the shrunken head on display. While being able to get up close and personal with the head itself, there is plenty of information on the processes used for shrinking heads and the history of the practice.
Another area of interest for the Odditorium is the wing entirely dedicated to the sinking of the Titanic. There is an active flood exhibit with running water rushing through the bulkheads that simulate what it may have felt like to be in the engine room at the start of the flood. There is also a water touch tank exhibit with frigid 28°F water, the exact temperature of the water during the sinking. See how long you can last with just your hand submerged and learn about the effects of hypothermia.
(“I’ll never let go, Jack.”)
Ripley’s is not without a lighter side.
At the tail end of the Odditorium is the Celebrity Portrait Wall. The twist is that most of these celebrity portraits are made with some “odd” items. For example, there is a portrait of Mona Lisa that is made entirely from jelly beans.
This area also has an interactive component for kids, complete with a shooting gallery and slide.
On your way out, visit the Ripley’s Wax Hand exhibit, where you can mold and decorate your own hand.
“People of all ages do it,” attendant Zuri says. “Sometimes people make a hand gesture or we even get couples to do a holding hands mold. It’s just fun and unique.”
Don’t miss a chance to experience the wonderfully strange world of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!