10 must-see natural history museums in China

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On this year’s International Museum Day, CGTN’s “Nature” has compiled a list of 10 natural history museums in China that are sure to satisfy your curiosity. From extinct dinosaurs to endangered animals, geology to biology, and from the deep oceans to the vast expanses of the universe, these museums cover a wide range of subjects. Looked!

Shanghai Natural History Museum

The highly regarded Shanghai Natural History Museum is known for its extensive collection and scientific research value. It houses over 11,000 specimens from all seven continents, and many of them are extremely rare. The museum often updates its exhibits based on the latest research or events to provide you with an up-to-date message from nature.

An exhibit on Asian elephants at the Shanghai Museum of Natural History, Shanghai, China, August 27, 2021. /CFP

An exhibit on Asian elephants at the Shanghai Museum of Natural History, Shanghai, China, August 27, 2021. /CFP

Beijing Museum of Natural History

Located in the Chinese capital, the Beijing Museum of Natural History offers a wide range of more than 320,000 specimens from China and abroad, such as the famous skull of Stegodon zdanskyi, the 26-meter-long Mamenchisaurus jingyanensis and the unique dinosaur mummy fossils in the country. The museum organizes different events to connect humans to nature.

An annual “Night at the Museum” event at the Beijing Museum of Natural History, Beijing, China on October 5, 2021. /CFP

An annual “Night at the Museum” event at the Beijing Museum of Natural History, Beijing, China on October 5, 2021. /CFP

Chengdu Giant Panda Museum

Located in the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, the Chengdu Giant Panda Museum is the world’s first panda-themed museum that provides complete scientific knowledge of the species and its history. The museum uses the latest technology to provide visitors with an immersive and interactive experience.

Aided by virtual reality, visitors to the Chengdu Giant Panda Museum can see the panda’s body structure, such as its organs, skeletons and muscles, to learn more about its behavior, Chengdu, Sichuan province, China, 2 November 2021. /CFP

Aided by virtual reality, visitors to the Chengdu Giant Panda Museum can see the panda’s body structure, such as its organs, skeletons and muscles, to learn more about its behavior, Chengdu, Sichuan province, China, 2 November 2021. /CFP

Zigong Dinosaur Museum

Zigong City in southwest China’s Sichuan Province is named the “hometown of dinosaurs” for a large number of dinosaur fossils discovered here. Sitting on an assemblage of dinosaurs, the Zigong Dinosaur Museum is not only a museum but also an excavation site and research base.

An exhibit at the Zigong Dinosaur Museum, Zigong City, Sichuan Province, China. /APC

An exhibit at the Zigong Dinosaur Museum, Zigong City, Sichuan Province, China. /APC

Mysterious Life Museum

The Mysterious Life Museum in the city of Dalian, in the province of Liaoning (northeast China), strives to unravel the mysteries of life. Visitors can learn about the body structure and organs of marine species, vertebrates and human beings. Just be aware that these specimens may not be suitable for very young children.

Specimen of a fish in the Mysterious Life Museum, Dalian city, Liaoning province, China. /APC

Specimen of a fish in the Mysterious Life Museum, Dalian city, Liaoning province, China. /APC

Chengjiang Fossil Site Natural History Museum

The land where Chengjiang County in southwest China’s Yunnan Province is located was under water about 520 million years ago. Marine species from ancient times turned into fossils, which can now be found at the Chengjiang Fossil Site Natural History Museum.

Fossil of a Fuxianhuia, a genus of Lower Cambrian fossil arthropod, found in Chengjiang, Yunnan province, China. /CGTN

Fossil of a Fuxianhuia, a genus of Lower Cambrian fossil arthropod, found in Chengjiang, Yunnan Province, China. /CGTN

National Zoological Museum of China

The largest of its kind in the country, the National Zoological Museum of China is recognized for its scientific research value as it is part of the expansive campus of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. Step inside the museum and indulge in the variety of animal exhibits displayed here.

Two specimens of crested ibis in the National Zoological Museum of China, Beijing, China. /APC

Two specimens of crested ibis in the National Zoological Museum of China, Beijing, China. /APC

Geological Museum of China

The rocks are quiet and still, but they have stories to tell, and the Geological Museum of China is one of the best places to listen. Located in Beijing, it is the first geological science museum in the country, with a collection of stunning geological specimens, such as dinosaurs and human fossils, mineral rocks and diamonds.

An exhibit at the Geological Museum of China, Beijing, China. /APC

An exhibit at the Geological Museum of China, Beijing, China. /APC

National Maritime Museum of China

Located outside the city of Tianjin, the National Maritime Museum of China has become a landmark for its architectural design. It helps to understand the relationship between man and the ocean.

The main building of the National Maritime Museum of China, Tianjin, China. /APC)

The main building of the National Maritime Museum of China, Tianjin, China. /APC)

Beijing Planetarium

Located in Xicheng District in Beijing, Beijing Planetarium is a national natural science museum to explore the astronomical world. It offers different types of activities and demonstrations to enhance people’s understanding of the universe. The Beijing Ancient Observatory in Dongcheng District, a pre-telescopic observatory built in 1442 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), is affiliated with the planetarium. Eight ancient astronomical instruments are displayed here.

A view of the Beijing Planetarium, Beijing. China. /APC

A view of the Beijing Planetarium, Beijing. China. /APC

(Cover image via CFP)

(If you would like to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at nature@cgtn.com.)

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