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A pickled penis: Iceland’s Pall Arason lived to be 95 – and apparently wanted his vitality preserved in a jar as a reminder of his time on earth. In one of the world’s most bizarre museums, Arason’s member is flanked by the likes of a 67-inch sperm whale penis.
The Phallological Museum is located in a tiny Icelandic fishing town called Husavik. The museum, run by Sigurdur Hjartarson, says Arason's penis donation will help round out an extensive collection of phalluses. Phalluses of many species including whales, seals, bears and an array of mammals are on display.
Oddly, it seems there’s no shortage of willing penis donors. Pledged penises over the years have included men from across the world, including the United States, Britain and Germany. Paul Arason’s member is however the first successfully donated to the museum.
Perhaps stranger than the man who pledged his penis may be the guy responsible for watching over the pickled organ: "I have just been waiting for this guy for 15 years," Hjartarson is reported to have told The Associated Press.
Originally located in Reykjavik, the museum’s already been moved. No word on transport methods but the spot moved to a small community with a focus on whale watching, Husavik. Topped only by whale-watching, The Phallological Museum is an important part of the region's tourist industry.
The most unusual museum boasts a range of penises including that of a sperm whale – the phallus measuring in at over five and one-half feet long, or 67 inches. The Phallological Museum also includes unique items like lamp shades made from testicles of a bull, and what the museum calls the "unusually big" penis bone of a Canadian walrus species.
Even stranger than the museum is its beginnings, and the story behind the man who runs it. Age 69, Hjartarson says his interest in the subject he’s dubbed "phallology" began when he was young – growing up in rural Iceland, and provided a whip made from a bull's penis that would aid him in herding cattle. In later years, while working at a school in close proximity to a whaling station, fellow colleagues apparently brought Hjartarson whale penises as gifts.
The Phallological Museum is 15 years old and opened with just 62 specimen displays – now holding nearly six times its original amount, with 276 phalluses. While many of the penises are pickled or suspended in formaldehyde – others are more creative displays, dried and mounted on museum walls.
When visitors enter, they get a full frontal view of a large tree trunk -- carved into no less than the shape of an erect penis. Someone forgot to tell the sculptor that a lack of blood flow means inside specimens don’t quite match up to that state.
Pall Arason was in the tourism industry and his penis donation was skillfully removed under supervision of a doctor, at the nearby hospital where the man passed, with no cause of death listed. The phallus has received top honors -- officially installed at the museum in a ceremony last week.
As to his phallus museum and preserved penises, Arason sees no weirdness in the member donations: "People are always donating some organ after they died," he said. "It's no more remarkable to donate a penis than it is to donate an organ like a kidney."
Perhaps but, then again, people usually donate organs in order for someone living to actually use them.
Hjartarson may be the smartest -- he apparently understands that sex sells, and size does matter.