Curious Nature – Phoenix, Arizona - Atlas Obscura

Curious Nature

In this small Phoenix taxidermy emporium, you can find everything from a squid in a jar to a freeze-dried toad. 


The arid, endlessly sunny environs of Phoenix, Arizona might not be the first place you would think to look for a fascinating natural history and taxidermy emporium, but thanks to Curious Nature, even those in the sunny Southwest need not go without some dead animals to display.

Tucked away behind an unassuming storefront in Phoenix’s art district, Curious Nature is a small shop filled with an ever-rotating selection of preserved natural objects. Visitors can find everything from preserved octopi in jars to tanned bison scrotum to owl pellets dissection kits to strangely adorable taxidermy ducklings. The deceased menagerie of Curious Nature has a a number of species that have never even been found close to a desert.  

In addition to the slimy and furry things around, there is a nearly floor-to-ceiling glass cabinet displaying animal skulls arranged from small to large, and trinkets like geodes, sea stars, and deer feet are sprinkled throughout the room. Curious Nature is also a reliable source for mounted and framed insects, unusual jewelry, anatomical art, and strange books. The shop also offers classes on taxidermy and preserving wet specimens.

Similar stores such as Evolution in New York, offer a similar array of museum-like specimens, but Curious Nature is taxidermy oasis in the Southwest.

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