6 Movie and TV Easter Eggs Hidden In The Real World
We all know the real world can be a boring place full of mind-numbing trips to the DMV, arduous visits with relatives, and the filmography of Gerard Butler. But for those of us obsessed with popular culture, that dullness can be enlivened by little nuggets of fantasy. As we've mentioned before, there are pop culture Easter eggs hidden in the real world, just waiting to be discovered. And we've found a few more. Such as ...
The Millennium Falcon And Yoda Are In A Nature Museum
The problem with museums is that they're all hung up on real history. Would it kill the Smithsonian to lie and claim that Indiana Jones blew up a bunch of Nazis in order to steal whatever boring artifact is on display? Thankfully, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science stepped up to the plate and inserted some movie characters into its otherwise historically accurate landscape paintings. But you have to really look for them. It started when artist Kent Pendleton started sneaking gnomes into the backdrops of exhibits -- like, say, riding a dinosaur:
The "private joke" was soon noticed and "developed a life of its own." Soon more creatures began popping up in background paintings, and like an exhibit on intellectual property theft, a little Millennium Falcon showed up:
There's even a teeny-tiny Yoda, presumably sitting atop an unseen teeny-tiny Frank Oz:
And while you're enjoying Where's Waldo-ing random Star Wars characters, you might accidentally learn something about nature and/or science. Who knows!
There's An Exact Replica Of Michael Myers' House In The Middle Of North Carolina
We typically don't expect to randomly encounter the homes of famous movie slashers in everyday life. Like, it would be odd to stumble upon Camp Crystal Lake, or drive up to the Bates Motel, or be left alone in the home of adorable psychopath Kevin McCallister. But if you trek to the Middle of Nowhere, North Carolina, you might find yourself standing in front of the childhood home of Michael Myers, star of the increasingly bewildering Halloween franchise.
How did the Myers house end up here? Since teleportation hasn't been introduced to the Halloween-verse (yet), this is a replica. The house was made by Kenny Caperton, who was just looking to build a new house for himself and his wife to live in. But since he was a big horror fan, instead of merely building a boring old house that no fictional characters had been slaughtered in, he recreated the Myers house, complete with "claustrophobic" hallways. Though he updated it a little, seeing as the original house didn't have a kitchen or even bathrooms -- which in retrospect would probably turn the best of us into a knife-wielding maniac.
You can visit the house by appointment, or attend one of the many screenings or parties hosted there. You could even come dressed as Michael Myers, but do so at the risk of being kicked in the face by a dude dressed as Busta Rhymes.
Groot Lives In A Peruvian Nature Reserve
If there's one thing that sucks about nature, it's that it contains very few things from superhero media. Have you ever been in a real bat cave? There's no supercomputer or badass cars; just loads and loads of shit. Thankfully, one nature preserve has embraced its inner nerd. Once a literal dump, the newly revitalized Huasao wetland in Peru features more than boring old tree-shaped trees. It also has giant sculptures of characters such as Guardians Of The Galaxy's Groot.
Part of the preserve's effort to "focus on children" included adding a replica of Marvel's beloved tree-man (presumably they're including comic loving man-children in their focus). And to remind us that Groot was horribly killed and replaced by a younger, more toy-worthy incarnation, they also have a Baby Groot.
Since the list of famous anthropomorphic trees runs a little short, the only other sculptures are Ents from The Lord Of The Rings, guardians of the forest (and hopefully protectors against Marvel's powerful attorneys).
You Can Ride The Hogwarts Express In Scotland
We've all dreamed of being accepted to Hogwarts, the prestigious wizarding school where staff members have been revealed to be murderous criminals multiple times and sporting events sometimes lead to violent deaths. Still, we all fantasize about taking that magical train ride to this wondrous castle.
Well, here's the crazy thing: You can, in fact, take that train ride if you head to Scotland and board the Jacobite, an old-timey steam train that looks an awful lot like the Hogwarts Express. Because it is the Hogwarts Express, having been used as the train in the film series.
The Jacobite takes passengers on a scenic journey, most notably crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which appeared multiple times on the Hogwarts Express route in the movies.
Because of its connection to the beloved / increasingly frustrating franchise, the train offers special private compartments for fans, not unlike the kind used by Harry and pals. They also come with a special Potter-themed menu which includes chocolate frogs and Every Flavor beans. Thankfully, they stopped short of having the porter don a flowing black cloak and pretend to suck the souls out of terrified guests.
There Are Weird Simpsons Sculptures Scattered Around The Planet
A lot of Simpsons fans probably aren't able to schlep all the way out to Universal Studios (or even one of Spain's bootleg Krusty Burgers), but still want to pay tribute to their immortal jaundiced idols. Well good news: It turns out that there are monuments to the long-running series scattered throughout the globe. You just have to know where to look.
For example, head down to Mexico, and you'll find a statue of Homer in a nondescript park. The statue was erected in honor of Homer's Mexican voiceover artist, and likely wasn't cleared by Fox -- hence why he seems to have gained 50 pounds and discovered the wonders of abusing Ambien.
In New York, you can find a bust of Bartman that was actually sculpted by the voice of Bart herself, Nancy Cartwright. It rests outside the headquarters of Fox News, which is odd, since Bart clearly hates the Republican Party.
All the way in Springfield, New Zealand, you can find a giant Simpsons donut originally gifted to the town as a promotion for The Simpsons Movie.
And bizarrely, this public sculpture by artist Brett Murray in South Africa features multiple versions of Bart's head protruding from all over its body, like a rash you'd get from eating too many Butterfingers.
A Small Town In Iowa Randomly Decided To Be Captain Kirk's Birthplace
For Star Trek fanatics who are looking for a real-world connection to the iconic TV series but don't want to put in the arduous work of becoming an actual astronaut or pay Elon Musk to jettison them into the final frontier, we have a solution. You can visit Riverside, Iowa, the quaint little town where Mr. Kirk will give Mrs. Kirk all he's got roughly 200 years from now.
Why is Riverside the birthplace of Kirk? Well, it was never referenced in the TV show. Nor in the movies. It wasn't even emblazoned on the side of an Eggo waffle. Since Kirk mentioned he was from Iowa, Riverside publicly declared that they were Jim Kirk's hometown after being persuaded to by a local Trekkie. Creator Gene Roddenberry didn't give enough of a shit to say no, so now it's canon, dammit (Jim). Visiting Riverside, you can check out the specific spot where Kirk will one day be born, complete with a bench so you can spend hours soaking in all the future rugged masculine vibes.
And while everybody was just making stuff up, a local bar decided that Kirk would eventually be conceived there -- presumably because in Earth's future Utopian society, local taverns are super chill about patrons fucking each other on the floor. There's even a plaque commemorating the exact spot, which was originally placed underneath the pool table.
The town even erected a statue of Captain Kirk in a local park -- which, perhaps not surprisingly, enraged Kirk himself, William Shatner.
And if Shatner's pissed about a classy bronze statue, wait until he finds out that his iconic character owes his existence to the romantic ambiance of a beer-stained billiards table. Though to be fair, Chris Pine has absolutely done that shit at least once.
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