Yesterday, I went to the natural history museum.
The museum basically consists of two buildings: a seventeenth century building, originally built for plague patients (however, since that building arose, there were no plague epidemics in the city any more).
The other building is a high late twentieth century tower.
They are connected by a pedestrians’ bridge.
Usually, on that bridge, there are plastic life-size models of two adult rhinoceroses and one baby rhino.
However, for the moment, only the baby rhino is left.
Its plastic ‘parents’ were moved because of an exhibition.
That exhibition is by nature photographer Frans Lanting.
It is called LIFE.
Look here for slide show and more.
Lanting’s idea is to make photographs now about life as it evolved through billions of years.
For instance, one can today still photograph horseshoe crabs, very similar to horseshoe crabs of hundreds of millions of years ago.
Frans Lanting went to photograph in various continents, including Patriot Hills in Antarctica.
The Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
Volcanoes of Hawaii and elsewhere.
He took pictures of billions of years old stromatolites [see also here] (cyanobacteria fossils) in Australia.
Theories on origins of life: here.
Through a microscope, he took photographs of diatoms, a next step in the evolution of life.
The photographs looked strangely like abstract paintings by Kandinsky.
Also, a photograph of snub-nosed darts.
Of a cheetah pursuing an impala.
Of the sub-Antarctic Snares archipelago just south of New Zealand, with kelp and Snares crested penguins.
There was also another, small, special exhibition in the museum, on recent research into fossils of Flores island in Indonesia, including the ‘hobbit’ Homo floresiensis, the miniature Stegodon elephant, etc.
The museum cinema had a film on polar bears in the Arctic (see also here).
There was a strong smell in the museum, as there is work in progress on a recently beached fin whale.
Diatom fossils of the Antarctic: here.
Using multi-coloured spray paint, researchers have shown how rock-structures similar to the ‘stromatolites’ that scientists think are among the earliest fossils on Earth can form in the absence of life: here.