Slime is a big deal. It’s a stretchy, squishy, sometimes sparkly substance that’s gone viral on social media. There are entire YouTube channels and Instagram pages dedicated just to slime. Now, slime aficionados can be immersed in it — in Sloomoo Institute, a new pop-up museum in New York City (NYC) dedicated to all things slime.
Sloomoo Institute opened last week and will be operational for nearly six months. In the 8,000-square-foot museum, visitors can walk through a lake of slime, make their own slime variety in a DIY bar, visit a glow-in-the-dark slime cove, and even put on goggles and a poncho and get “slimed.”
The Sloomoo Institute was created by Karen Robinovitz, Sara Schiller, and Toni Ko, and is part of a growing trend of aesthetically pleasing (Instagram-friendly) popup interactive museums in NYC.
Like other pop-ups of its kind, the Sloomoo Institute is likely to move to other locations after its six-month run. Why the name “Sloomoo?” The slime community is known for replacing vowels with “oo,” turning “slime” into “sloomoo.”
During a pre-opening tour, Sloomoo founders said their mission is to “spread slime’s powers of rejuvenation and relaxation,” per an AP News report. To test this theory, there’s even an EEG machine on site for checking out how slime affects your brain.
A big draw of the slime is its ASMR qualities, which stands for “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.” ASMR has been described as a relaxing, tingly feeling that comes from pleasing sounds, like the noises slime makes when played with.
You can visit Sloomoo’s ASMR tunnel to experience the visual and auditory benefits of slime, or just check out the dozens of YouTube channels where creators silently squish the substance in front of the camera.
“The social media aspect of slime has really shown community,” Robinovitz told AP News. “There’s a lot of sensibility in the world that social media can isolate people. What we’ve seen in the slime world is that people are coming together.”
A slime museum might sound outlandish, but there are already slime conventions, online stores and meet-and-greets with slime influencers across the country. Nichole Jacklyne, 23, is one of the internet’s most famous slimers, with nearly a million followers on YouTube. She makes up to $10,000 a month from online slime sales, on top of her YouTube ad and sponsorship income.
“I found out how to make slime on Pinterest and just went from there,” Jackylne told AP News. “I never thought, even for a million years, that I would be making a living off slime.”
Slime is neither a solid nor a liquid. It’s a mix of glue, water, and mineral-based cleaning product Borax, and can be customized with liquid scents, colors, and “toppings” like glitter and tiny toys. There are dozens of varieties available at the Sloomoo Institute, including versions with fake snow, plastic beads, or chrome shine mixed in.
Tickets for Sloomoo are $38, including 8 ounces of take-home slime from the DIY bar. You can try scents like pricky pear, Froot Loops, or banana cream pie — but remember, it’s not for eating. Oh, and if you want to get slimed head-to-toe, that’s an extra $30.
Slime is questionable when it comes to mess and environmental impact. It can be hard to clean up and it’s not clear where Sloomoo disposes their used slime. It’s changed every day for sanitary reasons, and hand wipes are also available throughout the museum.
But slime’s not as new as it seems. The substance was discovered as early as the 1830s, when polymer science originated. Since then, it’s shown up in toys, TV, and films. You can check out the history of slime at Sloomoo too, in a timeline on its walls.
Slime’s recent popularity is traced back to 2014, when slime videos from Thailand went viral internationally and the DIY movement became popular, especially among young girls. Influencers have huge youth followings — Nichole Jacklyne has hundreds of girls lined up to meet her at her events. Slime may be a bit weird and messy, but it brings a lot of people joy.