Travel & Tourism 2023

22 | LUXlife Magazine - Travel & Tourism Awards 2023 Most Innovative Museum – Tasmania Proof that not all museums have to be about art and war, this world-first quirky science museum – in the historic village of Richmond in Tasmania – is dedicated to the world of animal droppings. The Pooseum, where talking about poo is not taboo, was created to enlighten people on the fascinating facts about faeces. Engaging for children and adults alike, people go for a giggle and stay for the unique, fun, and informative displays. While people tend to feel embarrassed and ashamed of their bowel movements, animals couldn’t be more different. To them, poo is a valuable resource, used to mark territories, catch meals, defend themselves, and more. Creator, Owner, and Director of the Pooseum, Karin Koch, was inspired to start this unusual museum when she read about how a small caterpillar can launch its poo up to 1.5 metres away. After more research into animal faeces, Karin was truly intrigued and, convinced that other people would be too, the idea for a poo museum was born. Karin wasn’t wrong! People find the topic fascinating once they see what the museum has to offer. The reviews on various platforms are a testament to this. Visitors refer to the museum as “fabulous, funky, and fun” and its exhibits as “thought-provoking”. Catching people’s eye with its unusual name, visitors are surprised to find “so many interesting displays and so much fascinating information about the animal world”, all “while also having a good laugh”, with “interactive elopements” and “things to look at in all corners”. People can really see Karin’s passion, referring to her as “knowledgeable and passionate on the subject”. It's clear from these reviews that the museum provides a unique experience. Aside from more than 50 informative panels and 40 videos on touch screens, visitors can learn about the digestive systems of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores, and compare the anatomy of animals using interactive 3D software. The museum’s extensive display of faeces of animals from around the world, including Australian wildlife such as kangaroos, koalas, emus and wombats, is perfect for those who fancy trying their hand at guessing who the “poopetrator” is. The farting machine, poo quizzes, and other interactive displays are children’s favourite features – for endless amounts of fun for the entire family. The museum provides visitors with a wealth of poo-related information, for example how often and how much different species defecate, why wombat poo is cube-shaped, why the white part in bird poo is not poo, how vanillin can be produced from cow dung, why Canadian burrowing owls use the poo of other animals to catch their meals, how poo tracking dogs help monitor the health of endangered species, and how dung can be recycled to produce electricity, bricks, paper, and other products. The museum also provides information on the role of poo in different countries, for example why a South African distillery produces gin infused with elephant dung, why Amazon in India sells cowpats online, and why there is a table made of fossilised poo in a museum in England. With no end to the discovery, visitors are surprised by how much they end up learning during their stay. Thanks to her upbringing in a family of artists, Karin has been passionate about mixing science and art since the museum’s foundation. She does this by integrating unique works by international artists into the exhibition. Some examples include Lori Hough’s paper mâché dinosaur head made from elephant dung paper, Carole Chanard’s man-cow hybrid sculpture made from cow dung, Harriet Schwarzrock’s set of plasma poos, Heather Komos’ embroidered pig intestine, and Gianantonio Locatelli’s tableware made from cow dung and clay. Despite all of these interesting, unique, and unusual pieces of artwork, it seems that the biggest surprise is the bathroom, which has been referred to in reviews as “impressive”. This may be expected from a museum based entirely on poo! Moving forward, Karin has endless ideas for her business and big plans to expand the museum’s already impressive list of exhibits. Amongst other things, she would like to add a small biodigester outside the museum, producing electricity using the poo of local pets. Karin says, “My plan for the future is to find private and public funding to turn this excellent little science museum into a large-scale version in order to be able to include all the additional information I have collected over the past years and make the exhibition as comprehensive and fun as possible.” There is no denying that the Pooseum is oneof-a-kind, down to its unique subject matter. Its exhibits appeal to a wide age range, with many people going in for a laugh but leaving with their eyes opened to the world of animal poo. Karin’s passion for the topic is no doubt the reason behind the success of her business. As a result, the Pooseum has won Most Innovative Museum, Tasmania, in the Travel and Tourism Awards 2023. Contact: Karin Koch Company: Pooseum Web Address: