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A Night at the Museum

iridescant blown glass flowers
Before the summer finishes wrapping up, getting out and around Cambridge, MA should be a high priority. There are plenty of fantastic things to do before autumn starts closing in, and one local favorite is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon any month of the year. Just a short drive away from 100 Memorial Drive you’ll find The Harvard Museum of Natural History. Established in 1998, this museum is a twenty-first-century institution that offers exhibits on cutting-edge research, addresses contemporary issues, and provides a creative educational experience unlike any other.

 Below we’ve listed just three of the fantastic exhibits currently showcased at the museum. Get your first glimpse at the variety the museum provides right here.

Glass Flowers

One of the Harvard's most famous treasures is the internationally acclaimed Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants, the “Glass Flowers." This unique collection of over 4,000 models, representing more than 830 plant species, was  created by glass artisans Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, a father and son from Dresden, Germany. The commission began with only a few models in 1886 and continued for five decades.

Marine Life in the Putnam Family Gallery

The centerpiece of the new Marine Life exhibition — a floor-to-ceiling recreation of life in New England’s coastal waters — will immerse visitors in the astounding diversity and dynamic interplay among animals in marine communities just off local shores. As models of glowing jellies, a giant sea turtle, and other sea animals appear to swim above their heads, museum goers will learn about new research and explore displays of real fishes, mollusks, crustaceans, corals, and other marine organisms selected from the world-renowned collections of Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. A special interactive display will introduce visitors of all ages to the amazing world of jellyfish, and the ocean exploration theater will take them on a multimedia journey of discovery into the surface and deep oceans of the world, guided by Harvard biologists.

 Islands: Evolving in Isolation

With bizarre woodpecker-like primates, dwarf humans, and flightless birds over nine feet tall, islands are havens for some of the most unusual creatures on our planet. Why are islands such hotspots of biodiversity and how does evolution work within these isolated pockets of life? Islands: Evolving in Isolation is a new Harvard Museum of Natural History exhibition that unravels the mysteries of island biodiversity and evolution. Packed with examples from around the globe, the exhibition brings together an enormous array of plant and animal specimens, including lizards, giant pitcher plants, hissing cockroaches, Galápagos tortoises, New Guinea birds of paradise, Malagasy lemurs, a remarkable Komodo dragon from the Indonesian islands, and a rare fossil cast of Homo floresiensis, a relative of modern humans. An exhibition full of surprises, Islands: Evolving in Isolation will highlight some of the latest research and discoveries made by Harvard scientists.

 You can read more about the exhibits at The Harvard Museum of Natural History on their website.

 Is there an exhibit you’re looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments section!