Iceland’s Phallological Museum

Iceland Phallological Museum / Merman Phallus

This is a guest post from one of our writers who chose to remain anonymous, for obvious reasons!

The Museum and Collection

Warning: This post should not be read by sexually insecure men. Housed in the Icelandic whaling town of Husavik, is the world’s only museum devoted to phallology – the collection and study of the mammalian penis. As of September 2009, the museum collection had 272 phallic specimens collected from 92 species of mammals found on Iceland or in offshore waters. A few mythological creatures are also represented in the archive: elves, trolls and sea monsters.

Iceland Phallological Museum / exhibits

The collection does not yet have a human specimen but Pall Arason, now 94 years old, has donated his prize for when he dies, and there is a photo in the museum of his forthcoming contribution. In addition, a German, Brit and American have also signed on to donate after death. The American is Stan Underwood who has supplied a written profile for ‘Elmo’ – his one and only special sexual member.

Iceland Phallological Museum / Stan Underwood’s ‘Elmo’ / forthcoming donation

The founder and current curator is Sigurour Hjartarson, a former art history teacher from Reykjavik who believes his is the only museum of its type in the world. Enter this small museum and you may be overwhelmed. There they are by the dozens in jars and display cases.


Giant Penis 1 / Iceland Phallological Museum

Sexual Athletes

Seal and walrus penises are encased in the museum in their perpetually erect state due to stiff penis bones. Eat your heart out – Hugh Hefner and Wilt Chamberlain. The basketball legend and the founder of Playboy magazine may well have slept with 1,000 women each throughout their long careers of sexual escapades. Even so, we can imagine there were nights when a penis bone would have come in handy – although there is no record that they ever consulted a seal or walrus. During their heyday, Sigurour Hjartarson had barely begun his phallological collection.

The largest big penis in the museum is from a Blue Whale and is 3 feet long. The largest penis in the world relative to body size is that of the barnacle which can grow to 40 times body length.


Giant Penis 2 with Icelandic Flag / Iceland Phallological Museum

A Day in the Life of a Penis Chaser

It all began in 1946 or 1947. While working in northern Iceland, a friend gave Sigurour Hjartarson four bull penises. Hjartarson dried them and three became Christmas presents to friends. (Just imagine the reactions when these Xmas prezzies were unwrapped!) Fade in, fade out, the year is 1974 and Hjartarson is the headmaster of a secondary school in the nation’s capital, Reykjavik. Iceland had a whaling fleet in those years and teachers who worked at the whaling stations in the summer began to bring Hjartarson whale penises. (Now, whale penises come from stranded whales.) The idea for a museum was born, a collection that would curate and exhibit penises from all of Iceland’s mammalian species. The government of Iceland rejected Hjartason’s application for arts funding, but he pressed on and the museum is alive, well, and expanding.

Iceland Phallological Museum / Elephant penis

For the record, while this article has tapped into humorous and satirical aspects of the Phallological Museum that have been perceived by the public for several years, it does not intend to be disrespectful or make fun of the Founder and his research. This museum contains a unique collection whose serious research potential has yet to be fully tapped, and within which must lie further insights into mammalian sexual anatomy and behavior.


Iceland Phallological Museum

The Icelandic Museum of Phallology is open to the public from 20 May to 10 September, 12 noon to 6 PM. It has received 232,000+ visitors since August 1997 when situated at its first location in Reykjavik. The penises (or penes) are displayed embalmed in formaldehyde or dried.

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