The National Museum of Natural History is a part of the Smithsonian Institution and is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This museum is regarded as one of the finest museum of its kind in the world. Also it is the most visited natural history museum in the world.
• The building has an octagon-shaped rotunda; its dome is visible from many parts of the city. A large portico entrance with Corinthian columns leads to the rotunda which is decorated with columns of two different styles.
• The main building has an overall area of 1.5 million square feet with 325,000 square feet of exhibition and public space.
• The museum has the space of 18 football fields and houses over 1,000 employees.
The museum has different halls. They are
Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals
The National Gem and Mineral Collection is one of the most significant collections of its kind in the world. The collection includes some of the most famous pieces of gems and minerals including the Hope Diamond and the Star of Asia Sapphire, one of the largest sapphires in the world. There are currently over 15,000 individual gems in the collection, as well as 350,000 minerals and 300,000 samples of rock and ore specimens.
Hall of Human Origins
The David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins Hall is “dedicated to the discovery and understanding of human origins,” and occupies 15,000 square feet of exhibit space. Specimens include 75 replica skulls, an interactive human family tree that follows six million years of evolution.
Hall of Paleobiology/ Dinosaurs
The museum has over 570,000 catalogued reptiles from around the world. The Hall of Dinosaurs has fossilized skeletons and cast models, including Tyrannosaurus rex facing off with Triceratops, and the “Triceratops exhibit shows the first accurate dinosaur skeleton in virtual motion, achieved through the use of scanning and digital technology.” The collection consists of 46 “complete and important specimens” of dinosaurs.
Hall of Mammals
The Behring Hall of Mammals is where mammal specimens are presented as works of modern art within strikingly minimal environmental. You will discover mammal’s evolutionary adaptions to hugely diverse contexts, and ultimately discover that they too are mammals.
The O. Orkin Insect Zoo features live insects and exhibits about insects and entomologists. Different habitats have been created to show the type of insects that live in different environments and how they have adapted to a freshwater pond, house, mangrove swamp, desert, and rain forest.
The Sant Ocean Hall opened on September 27, 2008; The hall includes 674 marine specimens and models drawn from the over 80 million specimens in the museum’s total collection, the largest in the world. The hall consists of 23,000 square feet of exhibition space and features a replica of a 45-foot long North Atlantic Right Whale, a 1,500-gallon aquarium, one female giant squid displayed in the center of the hall and a male displayed off to the side, an adult coelacanth, and a Basilosaurus.
Last words must see with kids and with plenty of time at least 5-6 hours minimum. You will see amazing things and learn useful facts and figures.