As a guy who spends an inordinate amount of time searching for cool and interesting things about our state (so I can post them here to share with you), I was delighted to get an email that highlights a few things that you can only come across here in the Land of Lincoln.

Alert listener Mike, a guy I've credited here more than once for sending along something intriguing, sent me a link to a piece on one of the websites I try to visit regularly, OnlyInYourState.com.  It's entitled "7 Things You Can Only Find in Illinois." Let's check out some, and see if we agree:

The only museum in North America dedicated to surgery. The International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago is truly one of a kind. If you've ever been curious about how we got to where we are today on the operating table, this is the place to go. Location: 1524 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

Both black and white squirrels. Illinois is the only state where white and black squirrels both reside. To see the white ones, head over to Olney, and to see black squirrels, take a trip to the Quad Cities area.

The world's only Popeye Museum. The beloved animated sailor was created based on a man from Chester, Illinois. So, the town has honored Popeye with a museum and shop featuring all of the memorabilia you could ever want. Location: 1001 State Street, Chester

The world's largest wind chime. The town of Casey, Illinois has made a habit of collecting record-setting items, like the world's largest golf tee, rocking chair, pitchfork, and more. This wind chime is an impressive addition to their collection, standing 55 feet tall. Location: 109 E. Main Street, Casey

The world's only Tully Monster remains. Over 300 million years ago, a water-dwelling being lived in the area that would one day be Illinois called a Tullimonstrum, also known as a Tully Monster. Scientists can't seem to agree on its classification, as it has been compared to everything from a worm to a mollusk. (You can learn a lot about the Tully Monster at this weekend's PaleoFest at Burpee)

Click here for more things unique to Illinois at OnlyInYourState.

Oh, and if you're into Tully Monsters and other bizarre but real creatures: