Monday, 12 March 2012

A visit to the Zoo

This weekend me and my friends went on a small tour of museums (all of which were free!). By far, our favourite was the Grant Museum of Zoology. I saw this recommendation on London for Free's Facebook page, I love museums of natural history and anthropology, museums of weird things and things that make you feel a bit sick when you look at them. One of my favourite museums is the Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford, I remember being afraid of the shrunken heads and seeing the shrivelled toes of the mummy sticking out of the coffin...memories. The Grant Museum of Zoology entertains one of my other joys, which is animals. It is like a zoo, however, all the animals in this zoo are expired, they are no more, they are ex-animals. They are displayed in jars, cross sectioned or stuffed in old wood and glass cabinets, the building itself is also very beautiful. I will warn those who do not like seeing dead animals in jars, to look away now.

I don't really know why there needed to be a whole jar of moles or how they acquired so many. The museum is part of UCL, the specimens have been used for research in the university. I can only assume that a jar of moles was required for scientific research. It was one of the highlights of the museum (for us at least, that's not a bad thing by the way).

An inquisitive Blackbird, a proud Magpie and a shocked Owl. 
After the Grants museum we went to the Hunterian museum of surgical research, there were yet more specimens in jars but you weren't allowed to take pictures. You could tell this museum is used a lot more for study and less for the general public but it was still pretty interesting. All that formaldehyde made us hungry so we went to eat our lunch in a nice little park outside the museum, lovely. It was great to get out and about and explore some of the many free and fascinating things to do in London. 

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