5 Natural History Museums to Explore From Home

Discover beautiful, dangerous, and endangered creatures at museums around the world

By Google Arts & Culture

Natural History

From Earth’s first inhabitants to the development of humans, museums all over the world are documenting the evolution of our planet. Whether you’re interested in insects or prefer more furry friends, join us on a virtual tour of five natural history museums.

1. The Natural History Museum, London

With over 80 million specimens, the Natural History Museum lets you encounter wonders of the natural world all in one place. 

While you’re there, look up and you'll spot Hope, the 25.2-meter Blue Whale who lives in the main hall. Or if you want to dig deeper, explore the hidden world of the tank room.

2. National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan

At the National Museum of Nature and Science, each floor is organized around a different theme, informed by the museum's collection of original specimens.

Welcome to the Global Gallery, where the theme 'The History of Life on Earth' explores the evolution of living things on the planet. Click on the arrows to explore for yourself.

3. Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin

The Museum für Naturkunde is both a research center and a museum, covering zoology, palaeontology, geology, and mineralogy.

The Biodiversity Wall of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (darker version) (2015-12-28)Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

One of its impressive features is the biodiversity wall, hosting over 3,000 specimens...

...although this is only a tiny fraction of the 30 million specimens at the museum.

Brachiosaurus / Giraffatitan – Back to Life in Virtual Reality (English version) (2016)Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

You might also come face to face with the Brachiosaurus, the tallest mounted dinosaur skeleton in the world. Although this Jurassic giant lived 150 million years ago, you can now experience it brought back to life with Virtual Reality.

4. American Museum of Natural History, New York

The American Museum of Natural History is home to more than 33 million specimens and artifacts, including Lucy, the 3.2-million-year-old ape thought to be our oldest ancestor.

Tyrannosaurus rex by AMNHAmerican Museum of Natural History

Do you recognize this T. rex from the Night at the Museum movies? It actually lives at the American Museum of Natural History! Check out the real exhibits behind the film.

5. Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro

Museu Nacional is the oldest scientific institution in Brazil and the biggest museum of natural history and anthropology in Latin America.

In 2018, a large part of the museum collection was destroyed in a fire. Although some artifacts were recovered, including the oldest skeleton found in the Americas, you can now virtually rediscover the collections lost in the fire.

William Smith's ammonitesThe Natural History Museum

Want more to explore? Check out more natural history or take a virtual tour around 7 science museums around the world.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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