I have to admit, it was the T-Rex that drew me to the Naturkundemuseum Berlin. Although I’d only recently been to the impressive Natural History Museum in New York, I’d never given the museum in Berlin a shot. In fact, I’ve never given ANY museum in Berlin a shot, so after eight years, consider this my first step towards auto-didactic cultural education (besides the Stasimuseum which I went to a couple of weeks ago).
(There are some things that I am simply reluctant to try. They appear on every Buzzfeed-style “things to do when it’s raining outside” list, and it’s just annoying because these lists are never really helpful, you just skim over and consume them, eventually dismissing all choices as all of them seem forced. Like Blacklight fucking Minigolf. I’ve therefore decided that from now on, I will only create lists for oddly specific things, like “The Best Places In Berlin To Ditch Your Old TV” or “Best Times In Berlin To Collect Empty Bottles”.)
I am a spoiled child when it comes to natural history museums in general, though, because I lived close to the Senckenberg Museum of Frankfurt, the largest in Germany, and basically had to go there every year on a field trip. So let me tell you something: I like natural history museums, but they really yield not many surprises. Like every museum kind of explains to you in the same way how the stars align and how the dinosaurs lived, and if you’re really geeky and into it, you should read A Short History of Nearly Everything before visiting one.
Here’s a fun fact, though: many natural history museums only display fake dinosaur bones in order to protect the real ones from decay. I was ready to be disappointed, but turns out Tristan Otto – the famous new European T-Rex – is real! Like 70% real. And the one’s in the big hall at the entrance? They’re almost all real, except for the nasty one that is so obviously staged. And there are some others who are partly real and then some where you can see if they’re real or not. I don’t know where I was going with this, I just feel it’s my responsibility to tell you that I was really traumatized this one time when I found out that most of the art and displays in museum wasn’t even the real deal, and maybe that’s why I never go.
Actually, now that I think about it, a trip to the Naturkundemuseum could go really well on my “Dates in Berlin” list. Dodging children and their annoyed parents is kind of like spending a Saturday afternoon at IKEA, but if you’re not romantically involved yet, you can totally use this as bonding experience (“isn’t it nice how we hate the same things?”). Because let’s be real: on a scale from 1 to being on top during sex, I think the Naturkundemuseum earns a solid 8 in being fucking exhausting.
When we finally arrived at the gemstones, we were relieved to see that we were almost all by ourselves. Children apparently don’t fuck with bling at the tender age of under 12. Their loss, I say, because I am really inspired to equip myself with those shiny rocks day and night.
So what’s the verdict? Would I recommend the Naturkundemuseum Berlin on a rainy day? For sure! Unless you have children, then never go there. Send them on field trips. There’s really only one way to enjoy this museum: by feeling superior as unwed, childless single person that can simply roam the rooms and read some stuff every now and then, but really then you go hide behind the display cases of stuffed animals to fiercely make out with your SO.