Need a little help conceiving a baby? You might consider heading to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Baltimore Odditorium to check out a pair of Legendary Fertility Statues.
The statues can be seen and touched free of charge at the Inner Harbor location, which is the first stop for the statues on their fourth world tour.
The statues were hand-carved by the Baule, who live in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in West Africa, and probably date back to the 1930s. Ripley’s acquired them in 1993 and put them in the lobby of the company headquarters in Orlando. Within months, 13 women, including staffers and office visitors, were pregnant, according to a press release from Ripley’s.
Following a December 1995 story in the Wall Street Journal chronicling the phenomenon, the demand to touch the statues became international news, according to the release. In the ensuing years, the statues made three trips around the world. Women routinely made special visits just to touch them. Some who couldn’t make it in person faxed copies of their handprints to employees, asking them to rub the handprints on the statues.
Hundreds of women reported that they became pregnant shortly after touching the wooden statues, even those who had been told by doctors they would never be able to conceive, according to the release. Some are very serious about touching the statues, believing in their powers to help them conceive. Others want to avoid touching the statues — for the very same reason!
The statues will be on display in the lobby of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Baltimore Odditorium during regular business hours, Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. There is no charge to see the statues, but tickets will be required for visitors who wish to tour the Odditorium.
For more on Ripley’s Baltimore Odditorium, visit www.ripleys.com/baltimore or call 443-615-7878.