American Museum of Natural History

am museum of nat hist 400
Inside the Museum
Photo by: sneakerdog, Creative Commons

In a scene from the movie “Night at the Museum,” you see a dinosaur skeleton that acts like a dog, a former US president who rides his horse, “cave men” on a quest to produce fire, a young pharaoh who speaks fluent English and two miniature explorers who, despite being ages apart are actually divided by a single wall.

These are works of fiction. But did you know that most of the characters that appeared in the movie are actually on display at the American Museum of Natural History? This massive structure of 25 interconnected building has research laboratories, more than 40 exhibit halls and a renowned library. With more than a hundred field expeditions being sponsored by the museum yearly, it is not surprising to know that the museum has myriads of scientific specimens, although a tiny fraction of it can be viewed at a single time.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. may have been the most prominent figure within the museum grounds, but it was his father, Theodore Roosevelt Sr., along with some of the notable personalities of that time who laid the foundation of the museum in 1869. Since then, New Yorkers have seen its transformation from a humble building whose cornerstone was laid in 1874 to a fortress that houses some of the world’s most interesting exhibits.

Visitors who have seen the museum’s dioramas would say that it’s one of the best parts of the museum. Habitat dioramas, made especially by the expert hands of renowned taxidermists and naturalists, have become the museum’s tour de force. The full-size model of a blue wale that seemingly swims under the roof of the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life is quite a spectacle.

It is no wonder why this Manhattan museum is one of the most celebrated in the world. And popular culture only made its presence known even further.

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