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