Who doesn’t love learning about the natural world around us? Perhaps your interest lies in rocks, animals or even the mysteries of the oceans deep? The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has collected an impressive assortment of specimens - numbering in the millions - of fossils, rocks, minerals, meteorites, plants, animals and human cultural relics. As the second most popular of Smithsonian Museums, visitors come from all over the world to see wonders of natural or cultural history.
The largest of the permanent exhibits resides in the Sant Ocean Hall where you can be inspired as you explore every aspect of earth’s amazing oceans, both past and present. The museum contains over 350,000 mineral and 10,000 gems samples including one of the largest sapphires in the world, the Star of Asia Sapphire, as well as the Hope Diamond. Step into the ancient world to discover the museum's impressive collection of fossils and dinosaur exhibits, roam the Insect Zoo or explore various cultures.
- The Museum of Natural History opened in 1910.
- More than 126 million natural science specimens and cultural artifacts are contained within the museum's meticulously documented collections.
- Over 400,00 photographs of natural life are housed in the Natural Anthropological Archives.
- One of the museum's greatest attractions is the Hope Diamond, which is a whopping 45.52 carats.
- Harry Winston donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian in 1958.