Uncanny Valley Strikes Again

For this week’s field trip, we decided to hit up the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum in St. Augustine, FL. I figured the oddities would be right up T’s alley. His eyes went wide as saucers at the mention of a genuine shrunken head!

We made it exactly half-way through the museum when he announced that he found the mannequins “creepy” and wanted to leave and go to the Saint Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum for the umpteenth time. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of the uncanny valley, it’s the revulsion some people feel when viewing a robot or other humanoid object that is almost but not quite natural in appearance. The mannequins at the Ripley’s museum were quite lifelike. Here is T giving the Crocodile Man with pointy teeth wide berth. He first sat down next to him, touched his hand, and then slowly slid to the other end of the bench, giving Crocodile Dude major side-eye. I can’t say I blame him. uncanny valley
We proceeded to the pirate museum where he fired the pretend cannon countless times as he does every visit. We did learn about 2 very nasty modes of pirate punishment/execution: The garrote and the gibbet. They’re rather gruesome, so I won’t post them here, but click the links if you’d like to know more.

Considering his reaction at Ripley’s, I’m gonna go ahead and scratch the wax museum in St. Augustine off the list of possible field trips for now. 🙂

I have not yet sorted out this coming week’s field trip–still brainstorming ideas. Recommendations always welcome!!


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