You pass a lot of creepy tourist attractions driving between New Zealand cities. You see depressing hedge mazes, places called "Make Your Own Knives Here," a million things made of corrugated iron, and many pits of boiling sulfurous mud. Most of them you let go by like seafood extender on a sushi train, but sometimes a quirky name, a funny sign, and cute subject matter makes a place so curious that it's almost impossible to drive by. Welcome to Opossum World. Population: about a thousand dead possums.
Located in Napier, the Art Deco Capital of the world (more about that later), Opossum World straddles that fine line between touristy museum, souvenir shop, and upmarket possum fur boutique. It's dark, kind of musty, and full of weird displays and dusty glass cabinets. It also contains what must equate to the entire possum population of the Exhibition Gardens, stuffed and posed in strange dioramas.
Such as these little guys. I think this may have been a musical display at some point, possibly singing about how shit roads are if you're a possum.
A fact these two found out the hard way.
This one's cute.
Until you realize he's trapped inside some kind of redneck shed in America. Waiting to be skinned, I bet.
There's also a very creative display that shows how possums reproduce.
Which sometimes involves blow jobs.
All in all it took about eight minutes for this dingy death pit to creep us out but we did learn a few things. Like possum fur is super soft and super warm, especially when blended with merino wool. We also found out that possums are responsible for the destruction of broad swathes of wilderness every year (tsk, tsk). Lastly, we learned that most possums have TB, which is why you shouldn't eat them, however tempting it may be.