Houston Museum of Natural Science

Houston has a really great museum district. The museums are clustered together so I could easily spend an entire day museum-hopping. But in the end, we visited the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) because it was one that all 3 of us could agree on.

Houston Museum of Natural Science

We didn’t have enough time to see every exhibit, so I’ll highlight the most interesting artifacts below.

Minerals and Gems

minerals and gemes HMNS
Left: Rutile Hand – life-sized replica of Erica Van Pelt’s hand carved in rutilated quartz. Right: “Izok” – Harold Van Pelt’s life-sized carved quartz skull weighs 6.5 lbs.
Bivalve Shell Houston Museum of Natural Science
This moss agate shell opens and closes to reveal a jeweled brooch inside made of rare blue-green tourmaline and surrounded by diamonds and pearls. (!!)

minerals and gems HMNS

Gem Vault Houston Museum of Natural Science

Hall of Paleontology

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Human skeletons dangled around the mammoth. Never saw such realistic/violent displays in children’s museums before, lol.

Hall of Paleontology Houston Museum of Natural Science

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He’s a tall one.

Hall of Paleontology Houston Museum of Natural Science

Hall of Paleontology Houston Museum of Natural Science

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Sloth-zilla!! No, but actually, that used to be a giant sloth.

Texas Wildlife

I didn’t realize how diverse native Texan wildlife was until seeing all this:

Texas Wildlife Houston Museum of Natural History
We have gators??

Texas Wildlife Houston Museum of Natural History

Texas Wildlife Houston Museum of Natural History
And bison? Aren’t they near extinct?

Texas Wildlife Houston Museum of Natural History

Texas Wildlife Houston Museum of Natural History

Also had no idea that a Guadalupe Mountains National Park existed out west by El Paso. Or that mountain goats and lions live up over there.

Texas Wildlife Houston Museum of Natural History

Texas Wildlife Houston Museum of Natural History

The exhibit made the park seem like a really beautiful place. Now there’s one more destination added to my bucketlist…

Gem Vault

The entire time I was walking through this “vault,” I was thinking what a shame that these beautiful jewels were sitting in cold, dark cases instead of around a pretty girl’s neck. Shakes my head.

Emerald and Diamond Tiara Houston Museum of Natural Science
Emerald and Diamond Tiara – Ernesto Moreira. I need this.
ernest moreira jewelry necklace HMNS
Left: Amethyst and Diamond Necklace – Ernesto Moreira. Right: Garnet and Diamond Necklace – Ernesto Moreira.

When pulling together these photos, I realized Ernesto Moreira is my man. If I were British royalty or something, I’d want him to design my jewels.

Giant Opal Houston Museum of Natural Science
A big-ass opal larger than my hand.

Hall of Chemistry

You know what, I hated chemistry in school. So only one picture here:

Periodic Table of Elements Houston Museum of Natural Science

For what it was worth, this was a really cool periodic table of elements. A sample of each element was displayed in its case along with an  item that used/contained that element. For example, a hand-held calculator was displayed with gallium because the lighted numbers on hand-held calculators are produced by LEDs and LEDs are made from gallium arsenide (Chemistry Explained). Chemistry can sometimes be bearable.

Also, a butterfly house was attached to the main museum. I suggest you visit it too, and you’ll see why in the next post!

What is your favorite museum?

Thanks for reading!

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