New video: Inside Berlin’s Museum for Natural History

Everything under the sun

We finally made it. After more than a year, in which both us either didn’t have the time or the nerve to actually edit the footage, we finally cut 2 nice llittle videos about this ultimate Wunderkammer of Life.

The only drop of bitterness in this context is the fact, that in the meantime our filming skills have evolved quite a bit, so this would definitely look even better today. But we’re just happy that something did come out of that marvelous day.

About the museum

In 1889 the museum was founded as a conglomerate of three older institutions and moved into its current location on Invalidenstraße in Berlin. With over 30.000.000 items it is one of the largest collections in the world. It is most famous for the collection of dinosaurs. Some of those are completely unique like the 30m giant Giraffatitan (yes, that is the real name), which was thought to a Brachiosaurus but had to be reclassified after extensive studies. In general their Archeopteryx is considered the eldest bird in the world and the black T-Rex “Tristan” is currently the only Tyrannosaurus on display in Europe, sadly it’s on loan from a private collector, who bought the skeleton as a birthday present for his teenage son. As flashy and impressive as these giants seem, for us, the real fascination lay in the smaller things, like the bird collection. We were allowed a behind-the-scenes-look as well and the resulting afternoon was kind of magic. We felt a little bit like in the movie with the nightwatch man, when all the exhibits suddenly started to talk and fight each other.

Since the institution is so old, it is like a mirror of society in small. Starting with the way the writing changes over 130 years, touching design and industry if you look at the equipment (most of the furniture is still from that time) and it doesn’t even end with a Langusta/hummer that was brought to Berlin by Fidel Castro as a present to Erich Honecker. The only area off limit for filming was the real wet collection  not the puny excerpt in the video. A whole wing of the building is filled with jars of alcohol preserving critters from every family in the animal kingdom. In fact there is so much alcohol that even the electrical discharge from a camera or phone might trigger an explosion.

Behind the scenes at Naturkundemuseum Berlin

 

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