Alcohol is an excellent preservative, and in the Natural History Museum in London there are specimens brought by Charles Darwin himself.
Enter in the Tank room of the Museum of Natural History British, it’s a bit disturbing. Here there is 22 million animals preserved in alcohol. Some of them unique, others with almost 200 years old. And now you can walk through it in a virtual tour.
Museums use different techniques to keep animals in the best way possible. The most common is dissect them, if they are going to be exposed. But to study them in the future, or to preserve their DNA, one of the oldest techniques is to put the animal in a jar full of alcohol.
Alcohol is an excellent preservativecapable of preserving tissues for centuries, as can be seen in the Tank room of the Museum of Natural History of London. It is called like this because it is full of water tanks that contain large animals.
accumulates near 22 million animals, all types. From rare marine specimens, such as the archie octopuswhich measures more than 8 meters longto some copies that Charles Darwin brought back from his travels, and that served him to develop his famous Theory of Evolution:
Here you can also find dozens of type specimens. This is the name given to the animals that were used at the time to describe the species. They are distinguished because they are in jars with yellow lids.
In this 360 degree video you can make a 360 degree virtual tour by Tank room. Move your mouse or drag your finger on mobile during playback to change the view. Even better, if you have virtual reality glasses, you can experience it from the inside, as if you were there:
Between the 22 million animals preserved in alcohol in the museum, there are aquatic specimens, mammals, reptiles, and others. Some are extremely rare, and no other preserved samples exist.
Many of these specimens have almost two centuries old. At the beginning, conservation in alcohol had only that objective: to preserve.
But now it is seen with different eyes: tissue conservation also preserves DNA and cellsand that could help in the future in tasks of conservation of the species, or to obtain medicines.
He virtual tour by Tank room of the National History Museum of London, It is spectacular. It is worth seeing the video. Do not miss it! You have more information about the museum in Google Arts & Culture.