Icelandic Phallological Museum
Travel, Travel Stories

A Museum for the Phallus in Iceland

For those who want to resume their travels post-Covid, there is a unique museum in Iceland that needs to be visited. It is the Museum of the Phallus.

It is a museum like no other, and no doubt without competition. As one enters its premises in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, its theme hits you from all sides; set on plaques nailed to the walls or in jars in various states, and all well preserved –in pure water or in formalin if they are in jars — or tanned, hollowed and filled with silicon, or salted, flavoured with herbs such as marjoram, and dried/tanned.

Preserved Penises at the Museum of the Phallus.
Preserved Penises

And the owners of the privately-run museum say 60-percent of their visitors tend to be women.

This is the Icelandic Phallological Museum, and all those colourfully displayed are penises, penile parts or something to do with the male sexual organ.

Museum of the Phallus Displays 300 Penises

With almost 300 penises and penile parts from 93 species of animals, this undoubtedly is the largest museum with so many male sexual organs displayed for the public.

Wall ‘Hangings’

According to museum’s official data, the museum contains phalluses of ‘almost all’ land and sea mammals found in Iceland and some more, including almost four dozen from abroad. The collection’s largest is that of a sperm whale with a length of 1.7 metres and weighing 75 kilos, and the smallest is that of a hamster, just two mm long.

The story started four decades ago when the museum’s founder Sigurdur Hjartarson, during a conversation with family and friends, narrated the story of being given a pizzle, a bull’s penis, to be used as a whip.

Penises of the Animal Kingdom

Mr. Hjartarson was a teacher, and upon hearing the story some of his colleagues began giving him pizzles and other penises.

It may have been meant to tease him, but the foundation for the museum of the phallus was laid. Soon, there were phalluses of other mammals, such as whales, and in 1997, he opened the museum in Reykjavik with just over 60 specimens.

More Penises on Display at the Museum of the Phallus
More Penises on Display at the Museum of the Phallus

The current inventory includes  penises and other male sexual organ parts of more than a dozen whales, seals, polar bear, walrus, elephant, giraffe and, of course, the hamster. Among them are also three horse penises that have been ‘flavoured’ with salt and herbs such as dill, thyme, marjoram and oregano.

There are also nearly two dozen under folklore, which includes such esoteric mammals as the Icelandic elf and a foxacat, and dozens of penises or parts from abroad.

Then there are other artworks, such as utensils, photographs and paintings, all related to the museum’s theme.

The Missing Piece at the Museum

In 2011, the museum of the phallus finally received its most sought-after penis – that of a man.

The museum did have two already, but they were not the complete stuff of a man. In 2011, a 95-year old Icelandic donor passed away but unfortunately for Mr. Hjartarson, the preservation process was botched, and what is displayed is a shrunken scrotum and a traumatized manhood that makes one feel as if the museum still lacks a complete penis of a man.

Partial Human Penile System on Display at the Museum of the Phallus
Partial Human Penile System on Display at the Museum of the Phallus

But that is bound to change soon. Hjortur Gisli Sigurdsson, son of the founder and the museum’s curator, told in an email that four people, including one from the US, have already given in writing their permission for their penises to be harvested once they die, and so the hope to get a ‘better one’ is alive.

For all its blatant display of penises, Museum’s founder says it is all about the science of studying the phallus, no less.

Giraffe Phallus

More information can be obtained by visiting the website at, appropriately url’d,

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