Psychic Octopi and Knife Massages: Taiwan’s Museum of Alien Studies


Nestled in the narrow alleyways of Taipei, the Museum of Alien Studies is an institute that claims to be studying alien artifacts and wisdom for the betterment of the human species. And if that doesn’t pique your interest, you can always get a knife massage.

Alien Studies SignWhile wandering through Taipei’s Shilin Night Market, you might be surprised to find a storefront that bears the name of the Museum of Alien Studies. And it’s precisely what the name describes. The museum itself is located somewhere in the Xitun district of Taichung City, though it has branched out to several smaller locations as well.

According to their official website, the museum has been around since 2010 when a private “alien artifact” collector Yi-Wen Chen first made his private collection available to the public. The collection boasts 1888 items that they claim all have extraterrestrial origin or significance. A great deal of these objects are stone carvings of oddly proportioned humanoid figures, but it doesn’t stop there.

A Message from Steve JobsAmong some of the most bizarre claims the museum has been making is that they have completed a genetic analysis of the brain of Steve Jobs, though without having actual access to his brain, one would be hard pressed to verify any of the garbled assertions that they make. The museum writes, for example, that “[Jobs] employed the 1+99=100 supplement deficiencies method”. It’s the same brand of pseudoscientific technobabble that is often employed by scientologists who speak of engrams and dianetics.

Or you could read about Paul the Octopus, who’s “soul’s position in outer space is Detection and Observation Commander”. Paul (deceased) was an octopus who gained worldwide notoriety for predicting outcomes in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Paul the OctopusI don’t want to sound too harsh with the Museum of Alien Studies, after all, I came to Asia to be exposed to new and different perspectives of the world. But it is a little irksome to anyone who truly believes in scientific inquiry when organizations start trampling on the grounds of actual science. There’s a big difference between saying you believe in something, and claiming that that what you believe is objectively and demonstrably true.

Make no mistake, these are true believers. The organization hasn’t shown any of the telltale signs of being a full-blown cult. And if you don’t lend credence to the beliefs of the Museum of Alien studies, they’re always happy to give you a traditional Taiwanese knife massage instead, for a fee.

Just bear in mind that your money will likely head to the pockets of people who take the words of an octopus quite seriously.

You can visit the official website of the Museum of Alien Studies here.

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