When you visit the new Wonder Cabinet at the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History in Dublin you’ll step back in time to a Victorian era where ‘cabinets of curiosity’ were all the rage. The Wonder Cabinet is an interactive exhibition space, enabling visitors to closely examine the contents and is also an educational event and workshop space. It’s already proving to be a huge hit, especially with younger visitors.
What’s featured in the Wonder Cabinet?
Part of the Discovery Zone at NMI Natural History, Dublin, the Wonder Cabinet looks at the theme, Predator and Prey and amongst its features are:
- Spotted Hyena taxidermy mount – today, these animals live in the wild in Africa, but did you know that fossils have been found in Ireland, dating back about 30,000 years?
- Spotted Hyena fossil jawbone – see up close a real fossil that was found in a cave in Ireland.
- Spotted Hyena skull (replica) – touch a hyena skull and see its sharp teeth and distinctive powerful jawbone.
- Giant Irish Deer (Megaloceros giganteus) – the Wonder Cabinet will have a real fossil antler from a giant Irish deer. It is thousands of years old and visitors will be able to touch it. After checking out the Wonder Cabinet, go to the Irish Room at the mueum where you can see their real fossil skeletons on display. These giant deer went extinct in Ireland over 10,500 years ago.
- Loggerhead Turtle – this adult turtle was found on a beach in Clarinbridge, Co. Galway. These turtles eat animals, such as the moon jellyfish, while they migrate through the Atlantic Ocean.
- Peregrine Falcon – visit the Wonder Cabinet to check out what the peregrine is chasing! This bird of prey is the fastest living thing on Earth and can pick up speeds of over 250km per hour while chasing its prey.
- Marine Handling Area – touch a giant fossil shark tooth, a seal skull (replica) and a shark jaw (replica) at the Wonder Cabinet.
- People will be able to see up close some wild predators and prey that live in Ireland such as a sleeping fox, a hungry stoat, a mouse in hiding and a brown rat.
- In the Wonder Cabinet people can learn why hares live above ground and rabbits underground.
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The Wonder Cabinet Event Space
The clever design of the Wonder Cabinet makes it the perfect space for educational events and workshops. Hidden inside are projectors, screens and microscopes for use during events, as well as an interactive display area.
The Wonder Cabinet allows people to engage with the specimens in a very unique and tactile way and is designed to be a fun space where people can learn.
Admission to the National Museum of Ireland and its exhibitions is Free. Visit the website for opening hours and details of events, activities and workshops taking place during the year.
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Over to you now. Have you visited the Wonder Cabinet at the National Museum of Ireland Natural History yet? Please share you experiences with us in the comments box below.