As of 2010, there are over 30 "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" Museums, or more correctly Odditoriums (from Oddity - someone or something strange or unusual) around the world. "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" is a franchise, founded by Robert LeRoy Riply (1890-1949), an American cartoonist, entrepreneur and amateur anthropologist. The first "Ripley's Odditorium" collection was displayed during the run of theWorld's Fair in 1933 in Chicago, and in 1950, a year after Ripley's death, the first permanent Odditorium opened in St. Augustine, Florida.
The Branson's "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" building reflects the odd event occurred in 1812 at New Madrid, Missouri. An earthquake measuring more than 8.0 on the Richter Scale holds the worst earthquake record in US history. This earthquake made the Mississippi River run backwards for three days and made Church bells ring In Boston (close 1000 mi)!