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Ripley's Branson Odditorium Avoids Tornado -- Not That You Can Tell

Ripleys Branson

Posted: 03/ 2/2012 6:44 pm

There are many unbelievable items at the Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Odditorium in Branson, Mo., including a full-size stagecoach made of toothpicks and the world's largest ball of twine.

Yet, what visitors find most unbelievable is how the building managed to narrowly avoid a tornado on Wednesday, according to FairCityNews.com.

Gary Daily, who has managed the Odditorium since 1999, says the tornado came within 40 feet, but did not touch the building.

Not that anyone can tell.

RIPLEY'S GALLERY (Story continues below)

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"The building was erected in 1999 to look like it had been hit by an earthquake that hit another part of the state in 1812," Daily told HuffPost Weird News. "But nothing happened to it, other than a loss of power for the day. However, the motel next door lost its roof."

The 400-yards-wide tornado tore through a nine-mile stretch of the heart of the Missouri town around 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday and caused damage to many of the theaters, shops, restaurants, hotels and motels, but no deaths,according to KSDK.com.

The Odditorium was not touched by the tornado, but Branson visitors are forgiven if they mistakenly think the Ripley's building was the one hit.

"It's interesting watching people go by," Daily admitted. "I wish we had a banner that said, 'We're supposed to look like this.'"

Most people might assume the Odditorium was just lucky to avoid the tornado, but some locals like Jake Stillworth think there are other explanations.

"I'd say that mighty black tornader seen the Ripley's building and figured it was already fallin' apart so there's no use in hitting it," Stillworth told the Fair City News. "Looks to me that the weird building done saved itself by the funny architecture."

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