ATTRACTIONS — USA:
American Museum of Natural History
Basic facts about the museum
"New York, New York" they sing, but anyone who comes to visit,
who is interested in what the big apple is all about, must not
leave without coming to the American Museum of Natural History. Not only
is the museum big in America, but it is perhaps one of the world’s
largest museums too. It spans 25 buildings and park-like grounds and one
needs perhaps a week to see everything it has! There are exhibitions,
laboratories and perhaps, what it is most famous for, the most amazingly
resourceful library. Even if you are not a typical museum-goer, you cannot
leave New York without having paid a visit to this landmark museum.
Awesome statistics of the museum
There are over 200 scientific employees at the museum, and more than
32 million specimens (only a fraction of which are displayed). The museum
sponsors more than 100 special field expeditions a year. It has pretty
much remained as it was since its original construction in 1869 since
1930 – not much has changed in the last 80 odd decades. Of course
there are repairs here and there but that is about it. Still, that in
and of itself is quite a job.
Displays at the museum
Since there are over 100,000 jewels to display, only some are put on
show, including the Patricia Emerald (a 632 carat 12 sided stone, said
to be one of the world’s most famous emeralds). It is one of the
few large emeralds that remains uncut. One can also see the Star of India
(563 carat, largest and most famous star sapphire in the world) and the
21,327 carat Brazilian Princess topaz, the largest cut stone in the world.
So beware of security when you visit the museum!
Museum Name Dropping!
If you are interested in famous people vis-à-vis the American
Museum of Natural History, you should know that the paleontologist and
geologist Henry Fairfield Osborn was its president for many years. Other
big names associated with the museum include: Roy Chapman Andrews (an
inspiration for Indiana Jones); George Gaylord Simpson; Ernst Mayr; Margaret
Mead and Robert Cushman Murphy, to name a few. Perhaps you yourself won’t
make the namedrop list of the museum, but if you don’t go, all your
friends and family back home will sure want to know why. It’s just
one of those places you have to go and see.
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