In case you were wondering what a day in the life is like for a Ripley’s employee, we’re about to give you a glimpse into one of our most important daily responsibilities. Every day, we receive direct messages, hashtags, comments, and posts filled with questions, insights, and your own Believe It or Not! moments. But, a very large majority of your messages consist of one very unusual thing: hands.

While receiving hundreds of palm images may sound a bit odd and creepy, they all come with the same message: #RipleysBabyMaker. This unusual trend was born as a result of an iconic Ripley’s exhibit, acquired more than 25 years ago—the Legendary African Fertility Statues.

In the 1930s, West African Baulé tribesman carved statues of a man and woman from ebony wood. According to tribal legend, when these two statues were placed on either side of the doorway leading to a bedroom, they were known to ensure a couple’s fertility. If a woman, or her spouse, were to touch either statue as they enter the room, they would soon after become pregnant.

Each of the statues stands five feet high and weighs over 70 pounds each. The African legend does not specify where one should touch the statues to ensure fertility and, for many women, it hasn’t really seemed to matter. Thousands of women have testified that after trying to conceive for years, they got pregnant only after laying their hands on the legendary statues.

As for their presence in the Ripley’s collection, we first had these iconic statues on display in our headquarters lobby. But, after a few of our employees were blessed with buns in the oven, we decided to send the figures on tour for our guests to experience their magic.

african fertility statues

From Orlando to Hollywood to Myrtle Beach, we’ve received over 2,000 stories from couples trying to conceive and successfully doing so as a result of touching the statues. While we can’t guarantee that coming in contact with these figures will put a baby in your belly, we do hear so many beautiful testimonials in which it does happen! And while our hope is that everyone can come and experience the magic of the statues in person, we know that’s not always the case. And that brings us to the hands.

Let’s go make a baby!

Have you been blessed with a Fertility Statue baby? Write to us in the comments below or on our social media to share your stories!


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