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Museum collections with weird art and artifacts that will shock you

These museum collections have truly odd pieces on view, including Anthony Weiner’s sexts and pronghorn poop.

 (Photograph: Courtesy of Museum of the Moving Image)
Photograph: Courtesy of Museum of the Moving Image

C-3PO tape dispenser at the Museum of the Moving Image

 (Photograph: Alvina Lai)
Photograph: Alvina Lai

Wooden brick from The City Reliquary

 (Photograph: AMNH/Denis Finnin)
Photograph: AMNH/Denis Finnin

Elkhorn Ranch diorama at the American Museum of Natural History

 (Photograph: Courtesy of Radar.com)
Photograph: Courtesy of Radar.com

Anthony Weiner's sext transcripts

 (Photograph: Courtesy Rubin Museum of Art)
Photograph: Courtesy Rubin Museum of Art

Prayer beads made from snake spine at the Rubin Museum of Art

Museum collections aren’t just full of old paintings and historic artifacts—you’ll also often find bizarre items that you won’t see anywhere else. Check out six of the weirdest artifacts found in New York museum collections, including one of Anthony Weiner’s sexting transcripts at the Museum of Sex. (You’ll never look at the mayoral hopeful the same way again.)

RECOMMENDED: Museums in New York

Wooden brick at City Reliquary Museum

This tiny Williamsburg collection devoted to NYC ephemera probably has more bizarre items than any other institution in the city. But we’re drawn to this artifact from a long-forgotten Gotham: a weather-beaten block from the last-known wooden sidewalk in Brooklyn, which ran along Greenpoint’s West Street in the 19th century.

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Snake-spine and human-cranium prayer beads at Rubin Museum of Art

Prayer beads come in a wide variety of sizes and materials, but these two particular strands, both Tibetan, are some of the strangest. One set, made from the vertebrae of a snake, was likely used in Himalayan shamanic rituals. Another set is made from a human skull and was probably used for wrathful tantric practice. “Count Your Blessings” exhibit (opens Aug 2).

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