As the most visited natural history museum in the world, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is a fascinating walk through, you guessed it, natural history. Although we barely scratched the surface of history (how could we, really, considering the age of the earth) we enjoyed walking through the Mammals Hall, the Human Origins hall and seeing the Dinosaur exhibits. Seeing so much history can sometimes help us realize we are but small parts in the long journey of the universe.
In addition to the exhibits, we were enthralled with the Flying Monsters 3D Imax movie that taught us about the pterosaurs – the great flying reptiles of the prehistoric skies. Some of these creatures had wingspans the size of a modern-day jet!
In preparation for our trip to Cancun (and in anticipation of our planned snorkeling adventure), we followed up the Flying Monsters film with the Coral Reef Adventure film that reminded us that “We don’t inherit the earth from our parents. We borrow it from our children.” This film journeyed us alongside oceanographers trying to determine why some coral reefs in the south pacific were dying off. In doing so, the film also explained the importance of coral reefs and why they are essential to humans
- Coral reefs support jobs and businesses that provide tourism and recreation
- Coral reefs present a buffer to the shoreline to protect the shores from erosion and property damage
- Coral reefs are important sources of current and promising medicinal opportunities.
There is so much to see at this museum and so much to learn that we promised ourselves we would come back on a later adventure and spend a leisurely time trying to absorb the immensity of the history of our world. We can never comprehend it all but maybe we can help nourish the seeds of curiosity in our children and continue to cultivate a sense of awe and wonder about the world we live in.