Natural History Museum

20151107_124105The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County opened in 1913 and is the largest museum of natural history on the west coast. It houses subjects such as dinosaurs, mammals, the history of California and much more. I had never been before and it was a great way to spend a Saturday.

Located in Exposition Park, NHMLA sits right next to USC and the California Science Center. There was so much to see in this historic museum starting with its temporary exhibit entitled Mummies: New Secrets from the Tombs.

I was excited to see this exhibit as I knew it would be so fascinating to learn about how ancient cultures buried and honored their dead. The exhibit was done very well. It was separated into the regions of Peru and Egypt and focused on the similarities and differences of how the two cultures preserved mummies for the afterlife. You can learn a lot about the cultures and societies of these countries just from their burials. These people believed that preserving those who have passed is necessary in order for them to have a peaceful afterlife. The exhibit included actual mummies, digital representations of how the wrappings were made, as well as decorative sarcophaguses and burial items like jewelry, toys, and gifts. Peruvians were the world’s first culture to practice mummification, followed by the Egyptians thousands of years later. This exhibit was fascinating and I was glad I purchased a ticket to it on top of general admission.

The Dinosaur Hall is another exhibit worth mentioning. I’ve been enjoying the Jurassic Park movies lately so this was a fun one to learn about these creatures from the past. (For instance, did you know ‘velociraptor’ means ‘speedy robber’?! I didn’t either, but now I do.)

The Age of Mammals was interesting also. It chronicled early mammals through the lifecycle of Earth with evolving climates, moving tectonic plates, and ocean current changes. The evolutionary process of mammals was cool to see in exhibit form.

Becoming L.A. was one that really interested me because I love learning about the history of cities, cultures, and places that I go to often. This exhibit spans 500 years from the Spanish Mission era all the way to WWII and present day. I found the more recent history to be most interesting because it was so cool to see how the city was formed into the metropolis it is today, from the Hollywood Golden Age and into the present.

Another temporary exhibit was the Spider Pavilion. I thought it would be fun to see how spiders make their webs and see them in their natural habitat. Oh, how wrong I was. This exhibit has guests walking through a green-house-type habitat with huge garden spiders just chilling all around! Every corner had a huge spider in it and I felt like I trespassed into their territory. Every tree branch had webs and I felt like if I moved too quickly I would disturb them and suddenly have spiders all over me. Needless to say, I was glad this was a quick exhibit to walk through.

The architecture of the museum was beautiful. I loved seeing both a modern style mixed with a neoclassical look. There is a lovely rotunda where, in the middle of the circular room, stands the muses honoring Art, History, and Science. The rotunda was so elegant and inspiring and I enjoyed walking around that area.

I decided to leave this post as just a post with no accompanying fiction. I only brought my phone as a camera, so enjoy the semi-blurry pics!

Have you been to the Natural History Museum? Are there any other museums I should visit? Let me know!

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