The Natural History Museum opened in London in 1881, home to some 80 million specimens detailing Earth’s 4.54-billion-year life. Its terracotta design and religiously-inspired Romanesque architecture make it a stand-out as a favorite on London’s museum scene. Alfred Waterhouse, the architect, included nature themes into every component, even carving monkeys and snakes into the columns.
Inside, artefacts including dinosaur fossils, early human skeletons, and impressive taxidermy collections recall the age of Victorian explorers uncovering exotic discoveries around the world. They word “dinosaur” only came into existence in 1842, when the cantankerous scientist Sir Richard Owen, who conceived of the Natural History Museum, coined the term. Today, dinosaurs and other extinct creatures came come to life on the movie screen, but there is still something magical about seeing their remains in person.
Photo credit (above): Diliff
Dinosaurs & Extinct BeastsThis inaugural hunt at the Natural History Museumtakes you through millions of years of history. Meet extinct creatures from thefrightful T-rex to the flightless dodo. Find space rocks that predate Earth, mammothshunted by early man, and marine reptiles that ruled the ancient oceans.
SOPHIE THE STEGASAURUS
Wyoming, United States, Late Jurassic, 155-150 million years ago
Sophie is the most complete of her species, with 85% of the bones intact. She – or he, we can’t know -- took 18 months to unearth in 2003. Look closely to see that only the left foreleg, the base of the tail, and a few other small bones are missing. Stegosaurus likely used its spiked tail for defence. Looks dangerous, right? The plates on the back, however, remain a mystery. Maybe they cooled the dinosaur down, or maybe they scared away predators. Dinosaur skeletons like Sophie have been popular since 1868, when the first dinosaur skeleton was shown in Philadelphia. For 10 THATMuse Points, pay attention throughout the hunt to find the name of the first dinosaur ever discovered. The way they are posed are guesses of how the dinosaurs stood, but new technology is changing how we understand these prehistoric beasts. Please earn 30 THATMuse Points for creating a photo with all team members using their hands as Stegosaurus plates on the largest team member’s body. Score 10 THATMuse Points if you find the name of a prehistoric fern located in one of the displays behind Sophie (to the right of the escalator) used as a design in the museum’s pillars. Grab 10 THATMuse Points if you can photograph a fern in the museum’s architecture.
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8 Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW7 5BD
TUBE / METRO: Equidistant from the South Kensington & Gloucester Road
BUS: routes 14, 49, 70, 74, 345, 360, 414, 430 and C1 stop closest to the NHM
HOURS: Open 10 - 5:50 pm everyday
There are 3 separate entrances to the NHM:
Cromwell Road: This entrance is open and has step-free access. Closest Tube station: South Kensington
Exhibition Road: This entrance is open and has step-free access. Closest Tube station: South Kensington
Queen's Gate: This entrance may be open during busy periods, such as holidays and half term. Closest Tube station: Gloucester Road