The Natural History Museum: A Whale of a Time!

I recently visited the Natural History Museum of London. It has over 70 million specimens from all over the natural world, from dinosaurs and mammals, to human anatomy, even a history of the geological earth! Occupying the central hall is a 26 meter long Diplodocus model, affectionately called Dippy by the museum staff:

 There are five zones to visit, each with a different focus of specimen. The Orange Zone has The Wildlife Garden and the Darwin Centre, which allows you to see science in action. The Blue Zone is the home of the dinosaur exhibit, for which you have to queue (it's that popular!), as well as human anatomy, mammals, and marine life. This zone houses a life size model of the Blue Whale, one of the largest animals in the world. There are also models of other whales, as well as elephants, rhinos, and even a bison. This section of the Blue Zone was one of my favorites to see and explore, as it had many hands on activities, letting you see and hear what a dolphin sees and hears. All the skeletons and models were pretty exciting too:

This is me in the Blue Zone, with the rhino and whale skeleton models behind me. They were huge!
The Central Hall is the next zone, which houses a spectacular painted ceiling, as well as a coelacanth, or living fossil fish, Dippy, and other large fossils. The Green Zone Has a cross section of a giant sequoia, the world's largest tree. There's also a large wall filled with the fossils of Ichtheosaurs and Plesiosaurs, ancient marine reptiles, much like marine dinosaurs, found by Mary Anning. Here's a few pictures of those fossils- the first is an Ichthiosaur, the second is a Plesiosaur:

Pretty cool, huh? They were oceanic giants! The next zone is the Red Zone, which holds the history of the earth, and various other geological artifacts.

Being interested in the sciences, especially animal science, I loved being able to visit this museum! The Blue Zone was by far my favorite, and the one I spent the most time in. I just loved looking at all the animals the earth holds, or has held in the past, especially the marine invertebrates and mammals. There were a lot of funny looking fish models, like this guy:

He's a trench fish, basically blind from living in the dark depths of the ocean. His shape is so interesting, I just had to get a picture of it!
If you're visiting London, I definitely recommend taking some time out to visit the Natural History Museum. It has something interesting for everyone, and it's also free! With so many cool exhibits to explore, and at no cost, how could anyone pass up a chance to look around one of London's best museums?

Here’s a video with some information about the museum and some of the things you can find there:

Rachel Talaber