16 Bizarre Displays of Behavior Witnessed at a Museum

A guy climbed on top of the T. rex exhibit
16 Bizarre Displays of Behavior Witnessed at a Museum

If Ben Stiller’s role in Night at the Museum taught us anything, it’s that museum workers are overworked and underpaid. Sure, cursed artifacts aren’t actually coming to life at the end of the day (we hope), but it doesn’t mean the job is devoid of headaches. Whether it’s someone climbing atop the T. rex exhibit or patrons eating the art on display, curators and other museum employees have seen some really baffling behavior over the years. Truthfully, quite a few of these experiences make Night at the Museum look not so bad by comparison.

StillSmiling719 1y OK cracks knuckles and neck I'm a career museum ops director so I get all the fun stuff. I would be on here for a month typing the stuff I remember alone, but let me give you some highlights. We had a patron who would get super high and pose as statues in our historic home and scare the other guests. Lots of sex in the most random places of the museums. I worked at a museum where a guard shot himself after having an affair with his boss. I dealt with a customer that once took a
DanFuckingSchneider 1y I used to work as a guide at a natural history and science museum. A woman came up to me and asked to see where we keep the real dinosaur bones so I lead her over to the window where you could view some of the lab workers that extract the original fossils from the rocks and dirt. She then asked why all of the displays were reproductions or casts. I told her that most are displayed only to give an idea as to what the original creatures looked like and that full skeletons of ancient animals are
Notalot_goingon 1y Not sure what is worse, the question being asked or that these visitors possibly experienced this, but on at least 4 occasions at a historic fort I worked at at the beginning of my career, visitors would come up to the reproduced family barracks and shout are you having s3x up there?. I guess each of these people (not sure if I believe it) had visited in the 70's and caught the interpreters doing it on the display beds. The first time this was asked, I was a university student training an innocent high school student. That being
pipkin42. 1y Art | Curatorial I used to work at a big museum that had exclusive events after public programs. One time, the well-known academic who was talking invited the whole audience, not just the VIPs, to the event. I saw one of our frequent flyers (the odd locals who come to everything) stuffing a big wheel of cheese into her tote bag. ... Reply 16
Adorable-Effort-3967 . 333d Torture museum in prague i mean it was amazingly interesting but some people really just stood in front of torture instruments where several people died in and took smiling pictures ... 2
KittyKat_52 . 1y We had a patron climb up the T-Rex. Had to close the aptly named touch tunnel... (Seriously though who named it that and why would you put a dark tunnel in a museum!) ... Reply 3
hatari_bwana . 1y Once a visitor decided to enjoy a snack of peanuts in front of an exhibit. Unshelled peanuts out of his pocket, with no trash bag in sight. FYI it's a pain in the ass to vacuum peanut shells out of carpet.
ewhellno . 1y Was decommissioning a 60-year old taxidermy exhibit. All around the room, right up against the ceiling, hung mounted antlers. All the mounts had holes larger than the nail used to hold it up, except one, which I had to ream on to get it off the wall. And that's how I got a concussion, a trip to the ER, physiotherapy, two days off work, and a ridiculous incident report. Stupid antlers... ... Reply 3
Deadmeat553 5y I work in a planetarium. I don't know if that counts. Two people stand out to me. I had asked my audience to identify a planet (Venus), and one member of the audience answered China without a hint of sarcasm to their voice. They were legitimately surprised when I said no.... In the after-show questions period, one person asked me if Uranus rotating differently than the other planets disproves the big bang. I didn't even know how to respond to that. ... 11
Sagasujin 1y I had to stop a ten year old from drinking an exhibit. The museum I was working at has a scale model of a Renaissance watermill which included running water. It was actually pretty functional with the water running the wheel which ran the mill. This girl on the tour group was rather odd and kept trying to wander away from the group and enter into locked areas so I was trying to keep a special eye on her. However she slipped out at some point. I found her a few minutes later having gotten past the barrier
vogdswagon26 . 5y A friend of mine worked in a museum as a maintenance and exhibit assembly worker. There was once a woman who became very angry that the glass is in the way. She said that if people really want to learn history that people should be able to touch and handle anything they wanted in the museum. She demanded that she and her children be allowed to handle the exhibits and demanded unfettered access to all exhibits. She became so argumentative that eventually the police were called to escort her out of the museum ... 14
ElectraQShunher . 1y Worked at a history museum with a recreated outhouse on display. People (usually kids, but not always) peed and pooped in and near that thing frequently. ... Reply 18
ceg045 . 1y Interned at a museum that had flags flying atop the building. Someone came to the front desk while my supervisor was there and asked, How do you get all the flags to fly in the same direction? ... Reply 25
Centuries . 1y Someone broke an installation piece and ran out of the museum immediately after. We discovered it soon after, because of his running out.
ayoungtommyleejones . 1 1y At my previous museum (in NYC), a patron ate a handful of sculpture (it was made out of couscous... And glue). A friend at another new York museum also had a patron eat a piece of art, I believe it was a laquered burrito, but I might be wrong about the food item.
texmarie 1y Patron related: a guy came in and demanded we let him sit in the state's decommissioned electric chair. When we (obviously) said no, he tried the old favorite But you used to let people sit in it, which is 100% false. It's a restricted donation that says we can't publish it or put it on display. I have two not patron related: 1: I'm the Collections Manager. During the course of an inventory, I found a box of stuff wrapped in Mylar with the note Do Not Touch. Most of those notes are because of condition issues and
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