Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Natural History Museum, London

The Natural History Museum as you get to its front entrance.

Another worth visit in London is to Natural History Museum, located in South Kensington. Not only housed a huge collection of specimens, this museum also collaborated in many scientific research, especially related to nature and conservation. Located on Exhibition Road, next to two other popular museums (Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum) in London, Natural History Museum lure its own unique visitors from all around the world.

Natural History Museum previously was known as British Museum (Natural History) until 1992. Even though the legal separation from the British Museum was happening earlier in 1963. That’s part of the story of the Natural History Museum, even though, as we know the beautiful Alfred Waterhouse building was opened in 1881 - and the museum keeps on expanding its collections together with its roles in educating the public and research.


The gigantic blue whale skeleton at the Hintze Hall.

This moa (Dinornis novaezealandiae) was identified by Richard Owen only by its single fragment of bone (before it was completed).

There are many reasons why people are attracted to this museum, especially if they watched the documentaries by the BBC or National Geographic. More than that, educator and students also need to see by themselves all the specimens on display in order to understand more about the nature (especially when it comes to dinosaurs and specimens outside of their geographical areas).

Here at this museum, everyone is dedicated to give their best in their field start from its first Superintendent in 1856 the palaeontologist Richard Owen. Richard Owen was known to be very detailed in identifying all the specimens to make sure it is original. From there the Natural History Museum keeps on expanding its function and change the way we look at the museum.


Giant gold nugget.

The mineral collections from the Earth Hall.

The best experience starts soon after you see this magnificent museum’s building. Rather than just huge, it is carefully designed with beautiful fa├žade and animal sculptures will make you astonished. If you can, make sure you visit this museum during the weekdays, as during the weekend or public holidays it will be long queues of people from all around the world. But that’s not all, there are many other surprises of the building’s architectures that will amaze you before you even see any of its exhibits.

Since its establishment in 1881 until today, this museum specimen now comprising of some 80 million items with five main collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology. Only some of these specimens will be shown in its exhibitions, while most of the specimen being kept for conservation and research purposes. If you are lucky, you might be able to see some of them if there’s any special exhibitions during your visit.


Life size blue whale replica at the Mammal Hall. 
Other mammal replicas in the same hall.



Same as the previous visit to Kew Gardens, it is important for you to make sure what is the main things you want to see in this museum? One day visit won’t be enough for you to explore the whole collections displayed on their exhibition halls; unless you just wandering around without any attention to the collections.

You can check their floor plan in advance and at the same time, check the interior of the museum through Google Maps to get an idea which is where - so it will help you to decide which areas is more important. You also need to check their website for more details about the current exhibitions (as sometimes there will be additional information regarding closure of exhibitions too).


The dinosaur is one of the important specimens here.

Skeleton of Triceratops horridus at the dinosaur area.

I need to visit this museum twice when I visited London recently (first visit was two hours and the second visit was around four hours: still I missed few areas). As I need to speed up my observations, I took as many photos as I can for future reference (and I put it in the fanpage album so we all can see it). The light condition in the museum also is too dim, so taking photos is a little bit tricky!

There are many things happening around here at the Natural History Museum. Not all of it you can see during your visit, the details of these activities are posted on their website. You might want to see about the usage of new technologies in order to unravel many things that we still don’t know about the nature. Then, with the latest technologies too, the information will be shared with the public - you need to check the 3D skeleton ofthe blue whale.

There are many other interesting information available on their website, where you also can become a member to get membership benefits. If you are interested in nature and sciences, Natural History Museum is one of the place you should visit. I hope I have shared some important information here and the rest is up to you. If you have any question or information to share, don’t hesitate to share it at the comments section below or email it to me at wikipelajar(add)gmail(dot)com.



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