Just in case you’re looking for a weekend conversation starter: There’s a Museum of Russian Erotica, and they claim to have Rasputin’s penis in a jar.
Atlas Obscura traces the story of the death of the mystic and advisor to the tsar—and the possible afterlife of his penis. There were always sexual overtones to his aura and rumors about affairs with various admirers. He was killed in 1916, though the details aren’t entirely clear; various accounts claimed he was poisoned, shot, drowned, and mutilated. Some stories claim that somebody or another held onto his penis, and there’s a long history of people claiming they’ve got it:
By the 1920s, however, a group of Russian émigré women in Paris were said to have gained possession of an item they believed was Rasputin’s penis, and began venerating it.
The relic may have been kept in a wooden casket, and legend has it that bits of it were broken off and given to disciples. Rasputin’s daughter, Maria, reportedly heard about the cult, expressed her disapproval in strong terms, and took possession of whatever it was they were worshipping. Naturally, there is no solid evidence to support any of this.
In 1994, an American turned up claiming he’d found Rasputin’s penis “at a storage locker sale in California, tucked in between manuscripts by Marie Rasputin.” Unfortunately, it was in fact a sea cucumber.
And now the Museum of Russian Erotica claims they’ve got it, and Atlas Obscura contributor Kristin Winet visited and got a picture, which means you can see it with your own two eyes. But I caution you: It’s impossible to unsee what the Museum of Russian Erotica claims is Rasputin’s penis, which looks a lot like a pig’s back leg. Are you sure? Are you ready? If so, click here and scroll down until you see the disembodied dick. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
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Image via AP.