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Tokyo, Japan

Meguro Parasitological Museum

Meet the world's longest tapeworm in a collection that really gets under your skin 

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Billing itself as the only establishment in the world entirely devoted to parasites, this quirky little museum has become a popular offbeat attraction - and even date spot - in the relatively quiet Meguro neighborhood of Japan’s sprawling capital.

The ground floor might seem harmless enough - lights flash on oversize maps of Japan to show where different parasites are present, and displays feature parasites that infect animals- but go up the stairs and things take an even more gruesome turn.

The second floor focuses on parasites that infect humans. Photographs show the severely distended testicles of the unfortunate human host of a tropical bug. Nearby, a giant herpetological parasite pokes out of a bottled turtle’s head. The museum has over 45,000 immersed and prepared parasite specimens in its collection.

But the prize attraction is undoubtedly the world’s longest tapeworm - all 8.8 metres of it - accompanied by a rope the same length that you can “play with” to get a real “feel” for its dimensions. The small gift shop sells a cheery range of parasite-themed T-shirts, keyrings, and birthday cards.

Know Before You Go

15 minutes walk from JR Meguro station (a map is available from their website). Donations are accepted, but admission is free.

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