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Alabama Museum of Natural History: Day at the Museum

This past weekend, we had the incredible opportunity to participate in the 13th annual Day at the Museum Event at the Alabama Museum of Natural History. With this year's theme being "Under the Sea," we were thrilled to dive into showcasing the wonders of the ocean to visitors of all ages.

Setting up our table adorned with mesmerizing marine specimens and captivating live footage, we embarked on a journey to Antarctica, where the icy depths hide some of the most intriguing creatures on our planet. 

Some of the highlights of our table were actual specimens from Antarctic expeditions, each one a testament to the strange diversity of marine life. These specimens had a variety of exciting stories to tell, from polar gigantism with giant isopods and annelids to scary sea spiders that are actually great fathers to worm-like mollusks covered in scaly armor. 

girl smiling and holding up jar with a large isopod
Emma with Giant Isopod Specimen

Accompanying these specimens was live footage showcasing these animals in life. One highlight was when one kid pointed at a jar of peanut worms and asked about them. She looked confused when I explained their long introvert. But then I brought the video of these animals burrowing up on the screen and her eyes lit up with wonder as she watched these strange worms move.  It was a moment of connection, bridging the gap between what they imagined and the reality of life beneath the waves.

Chandler teaching about peanut worms

But our journey didn't end there. With a collection of Gulf Coast seashells adorning our table, we invited visitors to explore some fauna that live closer to home. They were even challenged to identify the shells if they felt up to it. More than one person said they would try to identify seashells next time they were at the beach which left me feeling very satisfied! 

As we interacted with the attendees, it was inspiring to see the genuine interest and enthusiasm sparked by our exhibit. From curious children to eager parents, everyone found something to marvel at and learn from. It was a reminder of the importance of education and exploration in fostering a deeper connection to the world around us.

Leaving the event, we felt grateful for the opportunity to share our passion for marine life with others. In the end, our day at the museum was not just about showcasing specimens or footage—it was about igniting a spark of curiosity, inspiring future explorers, and fostering a deeper appreciation for the wonders that lie beneath the surface of our oceans.

If you haven't seen our Antarctic "Under the Ice" series check it out!

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