London is a place known for its contributions to the preservation of history and art. The number of museums and art galleries in the city testifies to this fact. The Natural History Museum is one such place, which is one of the largest museums in the whole of Britain.
The Natural History Museum houses some of the rarest collections of specimens of flora and fauna. Due to its popularity among the visitors, the Natural History Museum is included in the itineraries of many London walking tour programs. In fact, with an annual visitor turnover of about 4 million people, the museum remains one of the most visited places in London.
The museum attracts numerous researchers, scholars, and students from all around the world to study and know about the history of the planet and the life that originated in its early phases. Below are some interesting facts about the Natural History Museum in London.
The origins of the Natural History Museum can be traced back to the 19th century when Sir Hans Sloane allowed the British Government to purchase his collections. The collections were then housed in Montagu House, the home of the British Museum. In 1881, the Natural History Museum was housed in its own building after seven years of construction.
The Natural History Museum was completely separated from the British Museum only in 1963 after a campaign that demanded the division. The staff of the British Museum often ignored the preservation of the specimens, which eventually led to the beginning of the protest demanding a separate housing for the museum.
The Natural History Museum houses an astounding collection of over 70 million botanical specimens, 55 million animal exhibits, 9 million archeological artifacts, and about 500,000 minerals and rocks. Moreover, admission to the museum is free and the exhibits are displayed in five collections at the museum for the sake of convenience to the visitors.
Dippy, the skeleton of a 26-meter long Diplodocus, is the most famous exhibits in the Natural History Museum. It is cast from a type specimen discovered in America in the early 20th century. Diplodocus is a dinosaur species that is believed to have been existed about 156 to 145 million years ago.
Darwin Centre and Attenborough Studio
Darwin Centre and Attenborough Studio are some of the newest additions to the museum. It was constructed as a tribute to the biologist Charles Darwin and naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Both serve as education centers displaying the pioneering works done by them.