Tonight on Museum Secrets: Inside the Natural History Museum, on History Television (Canada) at 10 PM ET/ PT, we take you to London’s museum that is a cathedral of nature, housing over 70 million specimens, and visited annually by more than 4 million people.
But how does a visitor start to navigate this huge museum?
Read our tips below about where you can find some of the objects featured on Museum Secrets at the NHM, then check out the links provided for some interactive features on MuseumSecrets.tv where you can experience the objects in a new way and learn of their surprising stories.
Tour the Spirit Collection at the NHM
Discover over 17,000 specimens that are kept in 80 per cent industrial methylated spirit to preserve them. This collection of animals and sea creatures includes the hidden specimens collected by Charles Darwin. The oldest collections on display date back to Captain Cook’s voyages in the 1760s and 1770s.
- Join curator Oliver Crimmen as he preserves a specimen for posterity in this interactive feature.
Visit the vault in the minerals gallery to find the Cursed Amethyst
Some of the world’s most unique and valuable gems, crystals, metals and meteorites are in the museum’s vault, located in the Minerals gallery in the NHM’s Green Zone on the mezzanine gallery of the Central Hall.
The cursed amethyst (featured on Museum Secrets) also known as the purple sapphire, was stolen during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. Ever since, misfortune and even death have been said to befall anyone who dares hold it in their grasp. Is the curse real?
- Curator Richard Savin reveals the strange experiences he had after touching the stone in this Web Exclusive Video: Unexplained Evidence.
Find the artifacts from Somerset Cave and learn about whether the ancient Brits were cannibals
As part of the research being done for the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project, visitors at the NHM can find small hand tools and other artifacts from 50,000 – 20,000 years ago. In a cave in Somerset England, where archeologists found small tools, they also discovered human bones that date back 13,000 years. On Museum Secrets we follow two paleontologists as they analyze clues that may lead to a disturbing answer. Were early Britons cannibals?
- We invite you to examine the physical evidence by viewing our Interactive Feature: Ice Age CSI.