The Museum of Natural History
byronv2 via Compfight
“Ughhh, are we there yet?” asked my brother for the billionth time, when he could have looked out the window, but he didn’t for some reason. I couldn’t blame him, he was only about three years old (two years younger than me). Actually, he wasn’t the only unhappy one. Mom just read the museum ticket prices, and they weren’t pretty. She had this look on her face like she had just seen roadkill or something, but the prices may have been more gruesome. Just then we arrived. We all hopped out of the car, and onto a pathway to a majestic old building, which was looking proud of its splendid design. I couldn’t wait for what the museum may contain.
We finally got in, and entered a huge room, with crazy stuff hanging, maybe 5 floors high. There were immense glass-paned windows, stretching to infinity. Where would we start? We decided to go down a flight of stairs to the gift shop, and saw a bunch of loot that me and my brother liked the looks of, and almost got left behind from staring so long. We passed a food court, but we weren’t hungry yet. There wasn’t much I thought I would like, so I started planning on what “culinary delight” I would have for lunch.
We got back to the big room, and saw a cool exhibit about time. It was a spiral pathway winding down from near the ceiling, and I followed it down with my eyes, only to get to the bottom and see, “WRONG ENTRANCE”. The entrance must be all the way at the top! And to there our journey began.
The first room really surprised me. I expected some old dusty museum exhibit of an ancient artifact or something boring like that. Instead, I saw monsters rising up to the ceiling, but they were only bones. These were dinosaur skeletons! Even though they died 65 million years ago (as it said on the signs), these still looked like they wanted to kill the others. But, there were more peaceful looking ones, herbivores. These dinosaurs were big, but wouldn’t hurt the others. Some had bones missing, which wasn’t that great, but I thought it must be really hard to dig up these bones, and hard to find them, and I cut them some slack. I tried to put myself in the shoes of the paleontologists, trying to dig up these behemoths, and I found some huge dinosaurs!
We were moving at a moderate pace, and we were stopping to look at some dinosaurs, but we just walked past some. I didn’t really know how to pronounce the names, but by the time I started to put the prefixes, suffixes, and roots together, we were on the next floor. This one was like an ocean room, and had an enormous whale hanging from the ceiling! I thought it may fall, but I guess that was an irrational fear. It was secured tightly, and from the looks of it, had been that way for a while. I was really scared walking under it, even though I shouldn’t have been. I wondered how it was held up. Glue? No, that couldn’t be it. It had to be stronger. Magnets? No, those could move. I always thought magnets were neat, but couldn’t do everything. What was the substance that could hold such a massive object that wouldn’t take down the entire roof?
While I was thinking about that, we went down to a lowered surface with tanks of real sea life! I saw an exhibit about saltwater making flowing tubes in ice water in Antarctica or something, but I was too focused on that whale. We saw a bunch of tanks and saw a cool map of where modern ohio used to be located, near the south pole! I didn’t really understand how it could move, and mom didn’t really know. I guess that was a question for dad. We went back up, and were happy with all the sea life that we saw, but then we saw lots more living creatures.
Up to the 4th floor we went, and my brother ran ahead of us and into the room. This was a cool room, because there was a ton of wildlife. Apparently, some animals made threatening sounds to my brother, and he backed off from the hissing of snakes. It was almost like a maze in there, with tanks arranged on tables in random patterns, and me and my brother ran around, and almost ran into a tour guide. Of course, my brother blamed it on me, as he does a lot. We were almost lost! Thankfully, we were near a bunch of clear tanks, so seeing through them to our parents was like taking candy from my brother.
Sadly, that was tough, just like taking candy from my brother’s secured candy bag. You see, we weren’t really tall enough to see over the tanks, even though they were clear. All I saw was wobbly wooden tables. Then we followed some other people that started at the other end of the room, and we were out, back to where we started. Then I wondered to myself as my parents took me to the next floor, those people started at the other end of the room. Could they have just been on the fifth floor, and went up the cool spiral thing? I abandoned the thought, because it would make me feel more and more stupid if I kept thinking I missed the entrance. Darn, I thought about it again!
We made it! The fifth floor! Time to check out what this ramp to the ground is! I started to walk down, and kept walking and walking. I noticed on the outside wall it was showing time periods of different lengths with some helpful numbers and pictures. The big bang happened 13.5 billion years ago? I couldn’t fathom that number, or the next one! 5.4 billion years ago was when the earth was made? I thought it was made by god, not masses of rock forming together. We saw a lot of lava and black rocks for a long time, and finally we started to see some variety. There we found the first living creatures that lived in oceans, like trilobites. I couldn’t imagine life had been around that long, and when I thought of life I thought of humans. Boy, how wrong I was.
This walk wasn’t as walk-like as I expected. With all the people going down, you were getting ushered along very quickly, and it was hard to see the signs. Since we were moving down the ramp and were going up and down to see the signs, it looked like the signs were swimming by like fish. The whole experience was ruined, I thought.
Finally, the traffic settled down and we were able to read the signs again. It looked like we had went down the timeline about 50 million years. The first amphibious creatures were crawling onto land about now, and I thought humans must come soon. My dad had told me 65 million years ago the dinosaurs died, and I watched a cartoon show that said humans rode dinosaurs, so it should happen soon! I kept my eyes on the wall for about 10 feet, or a couple million years, and we got to the first reptiles and insects. We saw the start of the Permian and Triassic periods, where some of the dinosaurs we saw in the big room started to come around! I started to recognize even more through the Jurassic and early cretaceous. We walked down a while and got to the ice age period, and that went on for a very short period of time, relative to the dinosaurs. Apparently there were five major glaciations that happened over the earth, each section about the width of your finger. I finally looked down, and we were almost at the bottom!
I thought they forgot the humans! They must have put them with the apes and other mammals. At the very end of the spiral ramp, there was a hair. I thought someone must have snagged it in the display, but the hair was titled, “Human Period” and I knew what the whole purpose of the ramp was. It was like I just cracked a code. The displays on the ramp were to show us how long the universe, the earth, life, dinosaurs, and all those things have been around for, and how humans have been around for nowhere close to that time. That was crazy, and I didn’t believe it. I asked my mom if it was true, if we had been around for that short of a time. She said the graph was accurate, but we had still been around for nearly 3 million. With my mind blown, we headed off to lunch.
I tried a “calzone” that was just a pile of cheese and sauce, with some sauce-soaked bread under it and some meat in it. It seemed like my family got the same kind of thing, but at least my mom and my brother’s lunches were arranged properly. We walked around a little, but the café was packed tight with kids on field trips from neighboring schools. It was hard to move, but we made it into the gift shop. There were a lot of cool toys there, and boring books and all that junk. there wasn’t much I wanted, but apparently something caught my mom’s eye. It was a bunch of miniature magnets, all spherical, that you could bend into any shape that came to mind, or at least a lot of shapes. They made a cute little ‘snap’ when you put them together. They were called BuckyBalls. I wondered why they were called that, and thought dad would know. They were amazing, and I knew they were exactly what dad would like. So we bought them, and explored a little longer. We didn’t find anything else in the museum that I was really interested in, and we left.
A while later, we got back home, and dad really loved the BuckyBalls, and he wanted to get at it right away. Me and my brother each had turns playing with them, but them we noticed that we didn’t have all o Continue reading