Museum für Naturkunde Wet Collections

May 29, 2011 § 1 Comment

Photo by Øystein Horgmo © All Rights Reserved.

I was in Berlin last week and managed to fit some museum visits in between the weissbiers. I didn’t bring my camera to the Museum für Naturkunde as I didn’t expect it to be very exciting, but it turned out to be one of the best museums I’ve ever been to.

Making the largest mounted dinosaur skeleton in the world come alive with augmented reality binoculars, huge detailed insect models and a very impressive solar system video show are just a few of the wide range of exhibition techniques used in the museum.

What I found most fascinating however, was the wet collection. Housed in a glass room within a room, the collection counts more than 276 000 vials containing more than one million specimens in 80 tonnes of ethanol. From what I could see it seemed to be mostly marine animals, from worms to fish and, as in the photo above, sharks.

Photo by Øystein Horgmo © All Rights Reserved.

This is a research collection being used by scientists on a daily basis, and as it is completely free of labels or information posters, the sole experience for the public is visual. And it is an impressive sight. After the initial staring in awe, the group I was with automatically started talking about the multitude of life on this planet.

I sure wish I had brought my camera and not just the phone.

I did bring my camera to the Berliner Medical Historical Museum but due to their strict No Photo policy, I have nothing to post from that visit. 

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