My last visit to this museum dates 13 years back. I was impressed and told myself that I must return some day... me not being a museum person at all.
So today my first impression was that things have changed for the worst. I cut my visit short as I got bored after checking out three of the four zones. Starting with the Blue Zone, I first went to the dinosaurs which is the coolest part of the museum. I counted four animated dinosaurs including the T-Rex which were all a bit lame. The T-Rex seems to be the major attraction here as people pose for pictures, so be prepared to be shoved around. If you are interested in the history of palaeontology, there are plenty of displays to inform you about when the first fossils were discovered, how they are named etc. The Mammals section shows some stuffed animals from the museum's historical collection which by now have faded and worn out. I also checked out the blue whale but couldn't figure what the fuss is about. If you have ever seen a whale in nature, you'll be disappointed how unreal this model looks like.
Off to the Green Zone where I only visited the Creepy Crawlies. Nothing worth mentioning, only lots of information on display and a gigantic scorpion model. What a disappointment.
You reach the Orange Zone via the lift which takes you to the 7th floor of the cocoon shaped building. Again lots information to read if you're into it, interactive displays and videos running in the background which I found disturbing. I was expecting a huge collection of insects but only few on display of which of them in such bad light that you couldn't make them out properly.
In one of these zones I spotted a tank with a crab pierced on a stick (it looked real and dead, of course). Visitors are encouraged to pull it out of the water to see if it weighs more in or out of the water. What a disturbing display, if it was indeed a dead crab.
There is an overall children-friendly theme in the museum and I dare to say it's mostly aimed at them. Kids brochures about the museum can be purchased for £5 at the entrance. There are lots of benches in case your feet feel tired and you need to have a little rest. I found the architecture of the building is much more intriguing than the exhibitions. Be prepared to have your bags checked.
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