Sunday, January 30, 2011

Museum of Natural History

Last week it was the MET, but this week since the weather is still the same, the best thing to do was a museum again. There are many museums in the city, but not all of them are comparable to the Museum of Natural History, the one where I spent Saturday afternoon. This museum is very famous and it's one of the main attractions in the city, especially for families. It's located in Central Park West 79th Street and it's very easy to get to by subway (it actually stops directly at the museum with the C and B trains, 81st St. stop). The ticket for a student is 12$; however, as it happens in the MET, this is a suggested donation and if you think it's too high for your pocket you can chose how much you want to pay. This is for the general admission, which doesn't include any of the special tours (like the brain exhibit or the planetarium movie).

There's an exhibit that I really want to see: "Brain, the Inside Story". You can get information about it in the official website: here. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the museum, the tickets for this one were sold out. Next time we will go in the morning and do all the exhibits, because they look really cool! There's one in the planetarium, another with live butterflies and an Imax movie about dinosaurs. You can pay for one of them (for students I believe it's around 16$) or you can get a ticket that lets you see all of them for about 24$, which I think is a good deal! So next time we will go early and do a marathon seeing the 4 special exhibits. I can't wait for that! 

Even if we didn't see any of the special tours, the museum itself is enough to amaze you. The thing I like the most in this museum is that you get answers, or at least attempts to an answer for questions that at some point of your life have been bothering you. How did the universe begin? What was there before it all started? How did animals appear? And so many more. But my favorite parts with no doubts are the dinosaurs floor and the planetarium. 

When I was a child I used to collect models of dinosaurs and I've watched movies about them over and over again. In the museum there are many fossils and reproductions in real size of creatures such as T-Rex. The work that scientists have done in this field is just admirable. There is a lot of information and every time I go (this is my third already!) I learn something new. I am very fascinated about the life of dinosaurs, how they became extinct and how other creatures kept evolving to the mammals we know today. There is a very interesting movie in the dinosaurs floor about it that for sure will give you a lot of answers if you've ever wondered about evolution theories. 

Regarding the planetarium, we didn't have the pass to the movie inside of it. However, there is one attraction there which is free of charge. It's the Big Bang Theory Theater. It's at the bottom of the spheric planetarium. People stand in a circle facing a semi-spheric screen located in the bottom which recreates a 3D universe. The movie explains the Big Bang Theory in images. It is very easy to understand and it's a lot of fun. After that, you exit through a corridor that goes down the museum in a spiral with the timeline of the evolution from the Big Bang to the universe as it is at the present. After that, there is a scale that tells your weight in the moon, cool right? 

There are so many other things I would like to mention, like the ocean creatures (you can see models of gigantic whales in real size!) or the amplified models of bugs and insects. But I really recommend you to visit the museum since I'm sure there is something you will find interesting and you will learn a lot! Seeing everything at once is quite a complicated thing, because all the information is overwhelming, but take your time in the rooms you like and you will have a very enjoyable experience!

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