Up Close & Peculiar

More than 100 years ago, the globetrotting Robert Ripley began collecting artifacts from his journeys around the world, which today form the heart of the greatest collection of oddities ever assembled. Up Close & Peculiar brings the curious history of these pieces to a personal level as our Exhibits Buyer, Kurtis Moellmann, explores the strange relics that lie within our Warehouse walls! Become a part of the story as we share pieces for every history buff, pop culture junkie, and oddities collector alike.

Today: Painter, Magician, Half-Man: Johnny Eck  

Born on August 27, 1911, Johnny Eckhardt was one of two twins. Though identical brothers, Johnny was born with no lower half—his body stopped just below the ribs. Despite his lack of legs, Johnny lived a normal, healthy, and simply extraordinary life. Aside from his work as a sideshow performer, Johnny Eck established quite a list of accolades during his 79 years on earth: artist, magician, photographer, swimmer, gymnast, and race car driver, to name a few! Eck also performed for the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. It was there that Eck was billed “the Most Remarkable Man Alive.”


Discover hundreds of strange and unusual artifacts like this one, and get hands-on with unbelievable interactives when you visit a Ripley’s Odditorium!