The Nomads have returned to Washington DC again. And, just as a notice, we will likely be returning a few more times over the next few months. There is so much to see and do in DC. On this trip, we went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
On this trip, Mama Nomad’s parents were with us for our exploration. We commonly get to these places as early as possible and stay until they close. Most can’t keep our pace so we had to be respectful of our Nomad companions.
We rode in on the Metro and got off at the Smithsonian exit. With a short walk we were at our destination. As with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, this museum was huge. We entered and were greeted by a real life-sized elephant statue. He stood in the middle of a 4 story open center area.
Our first exploration was Q?ius. This was a section that allowed you to examine many things under a microscope; from metals and rocks to different types if sand. Our younger Nomads found it fascinating. I have to admit, I thought it was pretty cool myself.
From here, we traversed through the wilderness pictures (which were so stunning and lifelike) and over to the gem exhibit. This is where the Hope Diamond was. Couldn’t be in the building where the largest diamond in the world is and not stop off to take a look. Off of the room where the Hope Diamond was, there was a room filled with other precious stones. Except for the cafeteria, this was the most crowded room in the whole museum!
After the gems, rocks, crystals and minerals, we entered an area filled with skeletons of all types of animals; from a platypus to a gray whale and all manner of animal in between, including human. It was a natural progression to go from skeletons to Ancient Egyptian Mummies. We went from plain skeletons to ones that were wrapped and boxed.
We saw a bull mummy (an actual bull that was mummified), a mummified falcon coffin, a sarcophagus, a child mummy and an adult mummy. It was amazing to read what they went through to mummify these organic beings. And, it was amazing to see one mummy’s remains that was over 2,200 year old.
Speaking of old, our next section dealt with dinosaurs that were 60 to 70 million years old. You see these things on TV and in movies. But, you do not really have an appreciation for how big they were until you see these fossilized skeletons. There were truly huge beasts.
After we left the pre-historic area, we entered into a modern animal area. They had recreations of all manner of animals, even an Okapi. What is that? It has a deer body, zebra striped legs and a head and tongue like a giraffe. I simply could not get over the size of these creatures. I knew that a moose was big. But it is taller than a full-sized pickup and about as big. And, when I saw the walrus, it was as big as a VW Bug! I honestly did not know these animals were as big as they are.
We didn’t get to explore every section fully. But, they do have areas dedicated to early man and ocean life. I did see a picture of a diver that looked like he was posing in front of a shark that resembled jaws. Amazing picture! Would have startled me to be in his wet suit. If there is enough time in our schedule, the Nomads may return back to see the sections we missed. Word of advice, and this is for any Smithsonian Museum, if you want to see it all, get there when they open and stay there until closing.
This was a fascinating trip through natural history. I felt awe, bewilderment and surprise all in the same day. Definitely a museum worth visiting if you are in or around the DC area. Safe Travels.