Wax figures museum goes viral for all the wrong reasons

While there's nothing we love more than a beautiful design or artwork, there'll always be a time and a place for shockers. And the perfect distraction from the eternal heaviness of the news right now has arrived in the form of a little-known Brazilian waxwork museum – which is currently sending the internet into meltdown. 

From Princess Diana to Nelson Mandela, the Izidoro Armacollo Wax Museum features several familiar faces, all rendered in a somewhat unfamiliar form. A six-year-old news report about the museum recently resurfaced online, much to the amusement of the internet. Spoiler alert: people aren't exactly waxing lyrical about the figures' likenesses. (Our art techniques guide is here if you're feeling, erm, inspired.) 

A Brazilian church decides to create its won waxwork museum and it goes about as well as you'd expect from r/WTF

“It might look simple, but to achieve this richness of detail was hard work,” a news reporter states as the camera pans across Arlindo Armacollo's sculptures on display in the town of Rolândia. According to The Guardian, the figures were created with beeswax, and feature "imported English eyeballs" (nice).

Brazilian wax models

Scarier than any episode of The Crown  (Image credit: unitv)

But the wax figures range from humorously unsettling to downright terrifying. Princess Diana (above) has developed a maniacal grin, while Nelson Mandela (below) appears to have lost several rounds in the ring against a championship boxer. And as for Marilyn Monroe, perhaps one Redditor puts it best, asking why she looks "hench AF". 

Brazilian wax figures

Nelson Mandela, is that you? (Image credit: unitv)

"At least they tried," one Reddit user kindly suggests, while another adds, "hey looks like 80s action figures blown up to human size scale." One Twitter user dubs the entire museum 'Brazilian Horror Story', which sounds about right.

But perhaps the best part of the story is that Armacollo is standing by his designs. “I couldn’t care less [about the criticism],” he told the Guardian this week as he was flooded with interview requests. “If it was about making money it might bother me whether people appreciated what I was doing or not. But I do the things I do because I enjoy them. I did this for our town. If people like it, come and visit. If they don’t, don’t. Why worry?"

Indeed, there's a certain amount of joy to be found in amateur artwork attempts, with botched restorations such this hilarious sculpture fail and the less-than-immaculate clean-up of the Immaculate Conception painting causing much mirth online. But as amusing as they are, we can't be certain we won't be encountering a few of Armacollo's wax figures in our nightmares tonight. 

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.