Jesse Jarnow

museum of natural history, no. 2: ordovician snails, 4/06

Museums, and especially the Museum of Natural History, are intended to be places of learning. We look at exhibits, read the labels, and are educated. But we are bombarded with facts, and they tend to blur into glorious half-truths. On the mezzanine of the Hall of Ocean Life (what my inner seven-year old still calls “the underwater room”), there are a bunch of dioramas of what the bottom of the ocean maybe/mighta/kinda looked like in a few different prehistoric ages (one of them being the Ordovician) in various places (one of them being an ocean over present-day Ohio). Dang if I can remember the actual facts, but I sure remember the wild colors. Have I been educated? Absolutely.


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