Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History

2014-11-22 13.15.29Last week I found myself in various conference venues in and around Washington DC. With just about an hour to spare before my trip back to the airport, I managed to briefly visit the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

According to Wikipedia, this is the most-visited museum in North America, and the most-visited natural history museum. It didn’t feel as crowded as some other museums, though. Maybe I got there on a rare quiet Saturday?

The central exhibit of the museum is the African elephant in the foyer. Like all elephants in rooms, it’s quite noticeable and unavoidable. From a floor above, you can learn all about elephants while walking around the balcony that overlooks the central elephant.

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Themed exhibits on the first floor covered life in the ocean, human evolution, and mammals. Topic-wise, the exhibits didn’t differ much from those in other natural history museums I’ve visited, but the displays looked more modern.

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The ocean exhibit was slick and shiny, and looked like a magazine feature more than a museum.

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I didn’t have time to stand in line for the live butterfly exhibit, or to walk through the entire gems and minerals gallery, but I did pop into the latter to see the Hope Diamond and some big meteor fragments.

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After a quick hello to a cast of a T. rex skull found in Montana (which, together with the rest of the T. rex, will become a future exhibit in the museum), I was off to the airport to end yet another science-themed trip!

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