The first ever Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum was founded by Robert L. Ripleys in St. Augustine, Florida back in 1923 and as a sense of the bizarre is now spread out around the globe with 15 locations to explore strange phenomena from all over the world! You can see an interesting assortment of curiosities at each location including but not limited to: The World's Tallest Man who grew 8ft 11 inches tall (that means he would have been taller than Shaquille O'Neal!), A Rolls Royce made entirely out of matchsticks, Rock From Mars!, Tibetan Bowl Made From Human Skull(!)
Would you like to know how you measure up against one incredible human being? Or maybe something more. The Science of Ripley’s Believe it or Not! will have through experiments, challenges, touchable specimens, and multimedia experiences.
Visitors can explore perplexing wonders by exploring seven themed zones:
ZONE 1 - INTRODUCTORY EXPERIENCE
Prepare for an incredible journey to the worlds of Ripley's Believe It or Not as you experience a world full of unbelievable artifacts. You will be immersed in this fantastic and strange place through some pretty cool exhibits like relics from ancient civilizations, gravity-defying feats that seem impossible, weird science experiments with mind-blowing results!
ZONE 2 - EXTREME BIOLOGY
Explore the science behind some of nature's most extreme creatures. You will meet snakes that could grow as large as 60 million years ago, but not today, and see how things evolved to be so big or small over time.
ZONE 3 - THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF RIPLEY
We are introduced to the World of Ripley. We explore this worldly realm through a series of experiments and activities: exploring an inchworm's life cycle by watching it go from egg to pupae; investigating how photosynthesis is created in plants with flashcards that visually represent each step involved; and learning about phases of the matter when water freezes into ice crystals at different rates depending on their size, shape, or if they have been ground up before freezing. This zone holds so many exciting opportunities for exploration!
ZONE 4 - WEIRD WORLD, PAST, AND PRESENT
There are many wonders in this world that may appear unbelievable, but there is a scientific answer behind most of them. There are huge crystal formations and lakes that can explode at any time! We learn about how different our earth was before by studying evidence like fossils preserved in the rocks or written on old books.
ZONE 5 - CULTURAL PRACTICES
Explore how various cultures are modifying their bodies for aesthetic purposes; biologically speaking there has to be consequences that come with these changes.
ZONE 6 - GALLERY OF THE UNEXPECTED
It features objects that represent Robert L. Ripleys legacy inspiring people to create unique art and collect unusual things, find out how artist Willard Wigan can make exquisite sculptures so tiny they fit in a needle eye; delve into science of color mixing and pixelation as you gain a new perspective on these captivating pieces with your whole family through this amazing exhibit at Ripley's believe it or not!.
ZONE 7 - PERCEPTIONS AND ILLUSIONS
In this exhibit you'll learn the secrets behind illusions and how they work. You can explore with your senses here, but beware that some of these tricks will continue to fool even after knowing their secret!
The Ultimate Icon
Unstoppable since 1918
Robert L. Ripley, the cartoonist and adventurer who traveled to 201 countries in 35 years seeking out oddities for his immensely popular newspaper feature is known as “The Modern Marco Polo”, after the explorer of old. He collected hundreds of artifacts from around the world that he showcased at an exhibition called "Odditorium" which opened on February 17th 1945 with a display entitled "Unusual Rites".
- Explore the World of Oddities
- Learn about the Greatest People in History
- Understand Optical Illusions and Trickery
- Read about Weird Facts no One Else Knows About
Robert L. Ripley's vast collections are displayed here where you can see eerie masks used by initiates into secret societies; shrunken heads and even more interesting objects such as three-legged tables! You'll be able to walk through several rooms filled with fascinating treasures from all over Europe, Africa and Asia .
Believe It Or Not!, The Birth of the Odditoriums
In 1933, the first “Odditorium” opened with over 2 million visitors. The vast assortment of oddities and curiosities collected by Robert Ripley attracted people from all across America who were eager to explore his collection.
The first person to broadcast was Ripley:
Ripley managed to broadcast from underground, the sky, underwater and mid-ocean before he made it in front of a camera. He had never done any broadcasting or anything with technology but that didn't stop him! Ripley also went on to be one of the first people ever to do live broadcasts all over various parts of Australia and across South America too for his fans who couldn't see them at home when they were away traveling abroad.
- Ripley’s was the FIRST to broadcast
- They were the first to broadcast from underground, sky, underwater and more
- Giving you a rich history in broadcasting
The Exceptional Mr. Ripley
Believe it or not, Ripleys first Believe It Or Not! books appeared in 1929 and 1931. The series of collections showcased Ripley's newspaper cartoon drawings that were acquired as a result from the many letters he received on an annual basis.
Pioneer in Radio and Television
The success of the first book led to a live radio show. This was not Ripley's only foray into media, as he had an earlier and short-lived experience with TV in 1947 before returning full time to his favorite medium for another four years until it finally ended in 1948 due both lack of interest from other broadcasters but also because all frequency space was taken up by more successful networks at that point.
The First Super Star
Although being a cartoonist, author and radio personality were enough to keep Ripley busy; the man also made movies. In 1931-32 he starred in 24 "shorts" for Vitaphone Film Company which are 12-15 minute documentaries.
Ripley was not just an artist of cartoons or books but also a star on screen with his own studio who released short films between 1931 and 1932.
In the spring of 1949, Robert Ripley launched his first ever television show. His new venture became a huge hit among viewers and helped him to establish himself as an iconic American figure.
With his successful radio show format, Ripley displayed some of his artifacts and drawings on camera. He then followed the stories with interviews from the people who had actually lived them in an attempt to bring these unbelievable tales into reality for everyone watching at home.
The Passing of an Icon
The first “reality” show, Ripley ́s Believe It Or Not! was growing in popularity until the 13th episode of season 1 aired. The heart attack that happened during a discussion about military funeral hymns has been seen as an unlucky omen for future shows and led to its cancellation.
The very-first "reality" TV show abruptly ended when host Robert L. Ripley suffered from a fatal heart attack while discussing the recently popularized service song - 'taps.' Although his death is more infamous than most people would expect, it's been said by many critics to be one of those things where you can't really say whether or not RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!
Ripley's Odditorium has a unique collection
Ripley's unique collection is an eclectic mix of some of the world's most magnificent creations, from micro-miniature sculptures that are barely visible to the naked eye and giant 22 foot tall robots made out of car parts to enormous dinosaur skeletons. There are also thousands upon thousands of personal artifacts belonging to Robert Ripley himself - his diaries, passports, major contracts and correspondence with everyone who was anyone in these fields; a true treasure trove for any lover or collector.
The auction was a huge success, with most of the artifacts sold to John Arthur who is eager to open up his new museum in New York City.
The First Odditorium
In December 1950, Mr. Arthur opened the first permanent Ripley's Believe It or Not!® Odditorium in St. Augustine Florida and was dubbed "The World’s Largest Wax Museum".
A Life That Was Outstanding In Every Way
Robert Ripley was a man who lived an incredible life of adventure and excitement. He became famous for coining one of the most recognized phrases in English: Believe It or Not!
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museums have been popping up all over the world with their trademark mix of strange objects and interactive exhibits. The company is thriving, despite recent reports of Steven's death in 1949
Believe it or not: Ripley’s family opened a cartoon gallery when he was 14 years old which led to his lifelong obsession with bizarre curiosities from around the globe.
Check out their website https://www.ripleysaz.com/ to buy your tickets and learn more!
With an astonishingly strong sense of community and rich heritage, Gilbert is the perfect place to visit. If you’re looking for somewhere new that can offer great food, live music, and exciting art happenings while still maintaining its small-town charm then this should be your next destination. Come join us in Gilbert Arizona!
- The Arizona Boardwalk - Home of America's Most Thrilling Ride!
- Arizona Falls: Nature's Timeless Charm
- The Rose Garden At MCC
- Chandler Museum
- LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona
- Butterfly Wonderland
- The Science of Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
- Desert Breeze Railroad
- Dobbins Lookout
All of these wonderful attractions are located just a short distance from our offices located at 1447 West Elliot Road #103 in Gilbert! Stop by for a visit anytime!