Published on 28 November 2017

Credit: Marina Bay Sands

The latest exhibition at ArtScience Museum features over 200 star specimens and artefacts from the renowned Natural History Museum in London.

By Melanie Lee

Release your inner Indiana Jones at “Treasures of the Natural World” – a spectacular exhibition at ArtScience Museum featuring some of the most exciting treasures from the Natural History Museum in London.

This exhibition is a result of a three-year collaboration between the two museums, and according to Jim Broughton, Head of International Engagement at Natural History Museum, Singapore is an ideal site to share pressing issues related to the natural world.

“We’ve always want to share facets of our fragile world to a wider world, beyond our 19th century building in London. Singapore is the perfect place to reach out to a larger global audience. It is an alpha world-class city with extraordinary examples of biodiversity,” Broughton said at the press conference last week.

The exhibition also has a treasure hunt trail for children with colourful digital interactives, a multi-sensory cabinet of curiosities, a wall graphic, and even a wooden ship structure so the young ones can imagine themselves being on adventurous exploratory voyages.

Here’s what you can expect:


Moa feathers and Moa (left) & Sabre-toothed cat (right) Credit: Marina Bay Sands (left) and Natural History Museum, London (right)

Seeing the complete skeletal structures of extinct animals on display is a sobering message on the harmful human impact on biodiversity. Admire the features of these exquisite creatures such as the terrifying sabre-toothed cat and the long-legged Moa bird.


If you want to talk about old, meet the 487-million-year-old giant trilobites that used to thrive in shallow oceans during prehistoric times. There’s also Antarctic fossil wood, which provides evidence that forests once grew in a much warmer Antarctica.


Darwin’s manuscript (left) & Giant trilobites (right) Credit: Natural History Museum, London

Read a handwritten page from Charles Darwin, the naturalist famous for presenting the concept of evolution. This is part of his draft manuscript for the groundbreaking On the Origin for Species. There’s also an insect collection from fellow naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, a naturalist who was no stranger to Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, and who also co-discovered the theory of evolution.


Cursed amethyst (Credit: Natural History Museum, London)

This is a stolen gem from the Temple of Indra in India and brought its owners nothing but despair and devastation. Poor health, loss of fortune, and deaths were just some of its ill effects. Its last owner, Edward Heron Allen, had it locked inside a series of seven protective boxes in a bank safe after experiencing a series of disasters.


Credit: Melanie Lee

This rare Martian Meteorite was found in Egypt in 1911 with traces of clay, providing evidence that water exists in Mars since such a mineral would require water to form. It may seem just like a sparkly rock, but it’s worth catching since there are only 200 known Martian meteorites in this world! Another rock that cannot be missed is the Jadarite from Serbia, which was discovered in 2006. It’s a mineral that has almost the same chemical match as the fictional mineral kryptonite (according to its formula in the 2006 movie Superman Returns).

“Treasures of the Natural World” will be held at ArtScience Museum till 29 April 2018. Click here for more information

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