Lucky Pig Why is the pig considered as a symbol for good luck for the new year? Even in ancient times among Romans and Greeks the pig stood for for fertility and prosperity. Who owned many pigs had enough food and was considered as rich. The piglet in the picture is a mangalica hybrid. This Hungarian breed is still as hairy as the wild pig and is therefore referred to as "woolly pig". © NHM Wien, Alice Schumacher
Board of Directors extended until 2020Christian Köberl and Herbert Kritscher were extended as board of directors of the NHM Vienna by Culture Minister Josef Ostermayer for a further period of 5 years until 2020. This was announced by Ostermayer on Tuesday, December 23rd 2014, at a press conference at the Natural History Museum in Vienna Vienna. © NHM Wien, Hischam Momen
Early Admission TicketThe oldest museum ticket to the Natural History Museum was elaborately designed and individually issued around 1798. It is on exhibition in a showcase next to the stairway to the second floor. The predesessor institution tot he NHM, the Imperial and Royal Art, Nature and Animal Cabinet, was housed in the Imperial Palace on Josefsplatz and is illustrated as a copper engraving on the ticket. Parts of its collections were still privately owned by the emperor. The public could apply for a visit to the collectionss director. © NHM Wien, Lois Lammerhuber
The last UnicornThe animal that Marco Polo discovered in the late 13th century and took to be the legendary unicorn was probably a Javan Rhinoceros.
The Javan Rhinoceros in Hall XXXV is one of the oldest and best preserved mounted specimens in the world. It was captured at the end of the 18th century and was intended for Schönbrunn Zoo, but perished on the long journey from Asia. It was mounted in 1801 and has not been remounted sice then.
Within the mineral collection of the NHM Wien the Icelandic artist Bragason shows his video sculpture Desire Ruin. Background of this work are the artist`s studies in the Inyo Forest National Park in California, where the worldwide oldest and not cloned tree (Pinus longaeva) is located. More information about the exhibition project.In hall I at NHM Vienna
The giant oysters from Vienna
"Crassostrea gryphoides" was the largest oyster ever. North of Vienna, a fossil reef of thousands of these giant oysters was excavated. The oysters lived in the tidal zone of a tropical sea some 16 million years ago.
In hall IX at NHM Vienna!
© NHM Wien
Yesterday we opened our new special exhibition "Mammoths. Ice mummies from Sibiria"! A show with many highlights - lots of them first shown in Europe!Here a litte impression from our opening!© NHM Wien, Kurt Kracher
Birds with beards
In Movember everybody´s wearing beard! Also in Natural History Museum Vienna! You can visit the bearded reedling in hall 29. If you are lucky you can also find the little bird in nature, most likely around Neusiedlersee. The beard - by the way - are only wearing the male birds.© NHM Wien, Alice Schumacher
The ancient horse Eurohippus parvulus messelensis is as small as a fox terrier. 47 million years ago the dead animal sank on the ground of a large lake. Today you can visit it at NHM´s hall 9.
© NHM Wien
Footprints in the sand
A dense network of travel routes lead through the desert to the oasis city of Tegguida in Nigeria, whose economy is based on the production of salt from their saline groundwater.
One of 50 pictures that will be shown from November 5th in hall 50 in our "Human Footprint" exhibition.
© eoVision/GeoEye, 2014, distributed by e-GEOS
A giant´s bones?
When they discovered the huge thighbone in 1443 during the construction of St. Stephen´s Cathedral people thought they might have found a giant´s bone. The 86 centimeter long mammoth´s bone is one of the most precious pieces in the collection of the university of Vienna.
During our special exhibition Mammoths. Ice mummies from Siberia it will be shown in Natural History Museum Vienna from 19th of November.
DreamnightLast week a group of artists spent a special night at our museum: Andres Bosshard and Peter Szely - two Swiss musicians - invited colleagues from Klangforum Vienna, to listen to Bosshard´s soundinstallation "Sonar impact", that will be shown in NHM Vienna twice a day till the end of october. Our "Picture of the week" shows the sleeping visitors in the Kuppelhalle.(Kindly supportetd by: Pro Helvetia)© NHM Vienna, Hisham Momen
Good stuffThis textile sample from Hallstatt period shows that Hallstatt people already knew how to breed sheep with longstaple wool, that was suited for making textile.
© NHM Vienna
Shadow figureGeneral manager Christian Köberl, on the right-hand side, in NHM´s new Digital Planetarium, and planet Earth - virtually circled by all known satellites in the orbit. One illustration amongst many that our new hotspot in Hall 16 provides!© NHM Vienna, APA OTS, Ludwig Schedl
Darwin´s monkeyCharles Darwin´s evolutionary theory played an important role 125 years ago, when the Natural History Museum Vienna was opened. The museum was one of the first scientific institutions worldwide that acknowledged darwin´s theory.
Today the NHM Vienna is still one of the world´s most important natural history institutions. The new Digital Planetarium - opened from 28th of September - is one important step towards 21st century in the NHM.
© NHM Vienna, Alice Schumacher
Monsoon FroggingOn their trip to the Western Ghats mountains in India NHM-scientist Silke Schweiger and her colleague Thomas Wampula (zoo Schönbrunn) wanted to explore the Indian bullfrog´s remarking mating behaviour. But when they started working everything came quite differently...
More in their lecture (in german) on wednesday, the 24th of september at 6.30 p.m.
© Silke Schweiger, NHM Vienna
Fallen from the sky... After the perceived impact in Nicaragua everyone is talking about meteorites. The NHM Vienna is hosting the largest and oldest meteorite collection in the world. Among it´s precious pieces: martian meteorite "Tissint", which fell in the Oued Drâa valley, near Tata, Morocco, on 18 July 2011 after observation of a bright fireball. The displayed sample (908,7 g) is the largest known almost fully encrusted, single stone of this fall.
© Kurt Kracher, NHM Vienna
On stage!Tiny microorganisms and other natural objects projected on the big screen. Come and see them acting in our "Mikrotheater"!
Every saturday, sunday and holiday! In german, without registration.
© Kurt Kracher, NHM Vienna
Animals of the sunBeauty often lies in the details: The spines of sea urchins show highly symmetrical patterns in cross section (shown is a coloured image taken with the scanning electron microscope). They are caused by the internal construction of the spines which consist of differing amounts of calcareous meshwork and wedges. When determining fossil isolated echinoid spines these patterns can be useful: Different groups show differing constructional details.
The evolution of sea urchins is one of the key topics investigated at the Department of Geology & Palaeontology.
© NHM Vienna
At a snail´s pace...On Thursday, the 21st of August, NHM-scientist are presenting their latest knowledge on alpine glass snails.
From 7 p.m. in Gasthof Köblwirt near Nationalpark Gesäuse.
© NHM Vienna
Austria and AustraliaAustrian botanical illustrator Ferdinand Bauer (1760-1826) is internationally acclaimed as one of the greatest botanical artists of all times. While described as the Leonardo of natural painting, he is hardly known in Austria. The Natural History Museum Vienna holds more than 2,000 of his pencil sketches and drawings. A selection of his drawings will be on display at the Natural History Museum Vienna from 27 August to 28 September 2014.
© NHM Vienna
Palace of natureExactely 125 years ago the Natural History Museum Vienna was completed and ceremoniously opened. The Emperor himself was one of the first guests of our house. Here a historical view on the building.
To celebrate this notable anniversary we invite our visitors and friends to join our "Open House" on Sunday, the 28th of September. Come and see interesting backstage tours and the new digital planetarium in hall 16.
© NHM Vienna
Men in saltNHM-scientists are researching the way miners lived and worked in Hallstatt period. From 23rd to 24th of August visitors can get an impression of their work, too: Visit the "Salzwelten Hallstatt" and "Archäologie am Berg"!© NHM Vienna
Canopy of starsOn September 27th we are opening our new digital planetarium. From then on our visitors can virtually fly to the moon, through Saturn´s rings, to far afield planets or to the milky way. Here is an impression of the construction progress.
© NHM Vienna, Kurt Kracher
Well preservedNHM-Scientists found more than a hundred well preserved excreta from Hallstatt age in Hallstatt´s salt mine...and they tell us more than you would expect about ourselves!Learn all about that interesting topic from NHM-Scientist Hans Reschreiter and Otto Picher on Wednesday, 13th of August at 6.30 p.m! More...© NHM Vienna
Too good for sushiWith a leg span of up to four meters and legs up to one-and-a-half meters long, giant spider crabs are the largest living crustaceans in the world. They can weigh up to 20 kilograms and are found exclusively in the Pacific around the Japanese islands.
Today giant spider crabs are scarce due to overfishing. In Japan, they have become a national symbol and are, therefore, seldom eaten these days.
In hall 22 in NHM Vienna!
© NHM Vienna
Back in the futureAngels & Daemons
In every corner of the museums decoration one can find hidden jewels. Mysterious details reveal themselves to everyone, who has an open eye for the surrounding architecture of the museum. Delve into the cultural history of natural sciences by reading the new book Das Naturhistorische Museum Baugeschichte, Konzeption & Architektur", which is published at the end of September.
© NHM Vienna
Back in the futureHow can we show "time"? An interactive path through the museum is trying to capture time with the help of twelve highlight objects. On the picture you can see Franz Stephan´s everlasting flower bouquet .
© Alice Schumacher, NHM Vienna
The future of crewed spaceflightIn recognition of the 45th anniversary of the first lunar landing NHM Wien invited NASA astronaut Alvin Drew in the lecture hall to talk about the future of crewed spaceflight.
U.S. astronaut Alvin Drew has logged more than 612 hours in space on the space shuttle missions STS-118 (Endeavour/2007) and STS 133 (Discovery/2011). After his talk, he patiently answered questions of more than hundred visitors.
© Alice Schumacher, NHM Vienna
Platinum magnesium cyanide, 8.III.1908NHM-Scientist Dominique Zimmermann found out that "the last wasp without wasp waist" is 80 Billion years younger as previously assumed.
© NHM Vienna
Platinum magnesium cyanide, 8.III.1908One of the earliest examples of color micrographs, made by microphotography-pioneer Ferdinand Pfeiffer von Wellheim (1859 1935). Wellheim was using the Autochrome-Process invented by the Brothers Lumiere in 1907. This outstanding example of early color photography is part of the photographic collection of the department Archives for the History of Sciences at the Natural History Museum Vienna.
© NHM Vienna
Under the sea...The largest yet least studied ecosystem on Earth the deep sea has fascinated mankind for ages. There is an ongoing controversy whether deep-sea organisms are living fossils or, in contrast, descended from their shallow-water ancestors in geologically recent times. Because fossils of deep-sea organisms become increasingly rare with increasing geological age, the debate remains unsettled. Now NHM-scientists made a stunning discovery.© Karl Stanley, Roatan Institute of Deepsea Exploration.
Momentous mistakeCaptivating images of National Geographic photographer Gerd Ludwigs nine visits to Chernobyl in 20 years tell us tragic stories of the life of the victims, the Exclusion Zone and the abandoned city of Pripyat. Ludwig ventured deeper into the belly of the beast than any Western photographer, repeatedly documenting the destroyed rector #4, which will disappear under a New Safe Confinement for at least 100 years.
This picture was taken in a hospital in Minsk, showing two men suffering from thyroid cancer.
Ludwig´s exhibition "The long shadow of Tschernobyl" will be shon until 1st of September in Natural History Museum Vienna.
Visiting the "Madhouse Tower"Built in 1784 the Vienniese "Madhouse Tower" was the first psychiatric hospital in the world. Since 1971 the Federal Pathologic-Anatomical Museum has been located at the "Madhouse Tower". Despite extending clean-up operations visitors have the possibility to visit the museum. Get more information here!
Field researchMarble quarry at the Egirdir Lake in the Taurus Mountains in southern Turkey. White marble from Anatolia is exported worldwide. Visit in September 2013 during a scientific excursion during a FWF project at the Natural History Museum Vienna.
Pretty in pinkOur "picture of the week": A so called "rhodochrosite". Found in Capillitas, Argentina, and shown in hall IV in the Natural Hisory Museum Vienna.On weekends and holidays in may, by the way, kids from 6+ can learn all about crystals! Get more information here!
Who is Eduard Süß?Eduard Süß, Austrias most important geologist, died exactly 100 years ago. He built Vienna´s alpine water pipeline and worked as a scientist for the Natural History Museum Vienna.
On the occasion of his 100th anniversary of death several events are being organized, amongst others: A lecture on wednesday, the 23rd of april at 7.30 p.m. in the Natural History Museum.
The Easter bunny familyThe Easter bunny is pretty busy during the Holy Week...anyways it will manage visiting us at the museum. On Sunday, the 20th of april at 4.30 p.m. it will tell us all about his family...well no, not it itself - our educational team will.Find more information here.© NHM Wien, Kurt Kracher
"How was your holiday?"
Altare degli AnimaliUte Rakob, an artist born in Germany, spent a whole summer watching flagstones, she found on a Tuscan chimney, before she startet "translating" their peculiar marks into oil on canvas. You can watch the result from 10th of april to 25th of august in Hall 35 in the NHM Vienna.
© NHM Wien, Kurt Kracher
"How was your holiday?"Who likes to bring souvenirs from abroad, needs to watch out, what to bring home! On Friday, the 4th of april, we offer a special guided tour:Staff members from the austrian customservice and their tracking dogs are looking for hidden "souvenirs". Watch the dogs and their trainers finding drugs and one or another surprise! More information here!(In german)© NHM Wien, Kurt Kracher
Chattering frequent flyer100 years ago a danish teacher had the idea to button migrant birds with special rings to find out more about their flight path in autumn.Storks took special souvenirs from their journey to the south that let early scientists draw conclusions: Some of the birds survived the bow and arrow-hunting in africa and brought some arrows back to the north.This year storks are already back in Austria - a good sign: Spring is finally coming!Storks are our "threatened species of the week". Find out more about the topic in our special exhibiotion "Trading death - the final mass extinction" and here.© Rudo Jurecek
Rusty cephalopodNHM-Scientist Alexander Lukeneder made an interesting discovery while researching for his new book "Abenteuer Dolomiten": In the wall of the Puetzhütte in the Dolomites he found an ammonite, being set in concrete. There it is since decades, corroding and looking really beautiful. This and other interesting detections in Lukeneders new book "Abenteuer Dolomiten". Available at bookshops from 2nd of april 2014.
Good nosesSmuggling living animals is quite good business amongst criminals. On this picture you can see a parrott being hidden in a toilet paper roll. Custom officers found it on Schwechat Airport.On Friday, the 14th of march at 7 p.m. you can see five custume service dogs at work: They are looking for endangered animals an drugs that are hidden in the Natural History Museum.
In 2010, an article in the journal Nature hit like a bombshell: The French-Moroccan geologist Abderrazak El Albani from the University of Poitiers described the oldest macrofossils of complex, colonial organisms from 2.1-billion-year-old shales in Gabon.
The sensational discovery in Gabon fundamentally changed our understanding of the evolution of life and seems to have pushed back the known origin of multicellularity about 1.5 billion years.
From March 12, 2014, the Natural History Museum Vienna will display the Gabonionta. This is the first time worldwide that these spectacular fossils are publicly displayed.
© NHM Wien
The world´s smallest mammal
From Tuesday, 25th of Febuary 2014, the world´s smallest mammal - the bumblebee-bat - will be displayed in our special exhibition "Trading death - the final mass extinction?". It weighs only two grams and is in high danger of extinction.
© NHM Wien, Kurt Kracher
Majesty of the rainforest
In cooperation with BIORAMA and WWF Austria the Natural History Museum Vienna each week presents a species threatened with extinction:
This week: The mountain gorilla!
Find out more about it´s struggle for survival and some pleasant news here!
© Martin Harvey/ WWF-Canon
2013 was a very succesful year for the Natural History Museum Vienna: We had 33% more visitors than the year before. This picture shows one of the most frequented days last year. This week we present the new programme for 2014! Exciting exhibitions and interessting projects are guaranteed!
© NHM, Kurt Kracher
Russian premier guest
Microphotograph, taken under an optical microscope, of a millimeter-sized chondrule (solidified melt droplet representing a high-temperature component), a characteristic constituent of the Chelyabinsk meteorite.
The Chelyabinsk meteorite fell after a spectacular atmospheric explosion in Russia on the 15th of February 2013. Exactly one year after its fall, from February 15th 2014 on, a large individual fragment of 387 g of this meteorite will be on display in the Meteorite Hall (in showcase 85).
© NHM, Ludovic Ferrière
Buzz buzz buzz
In summer two beehives were arreyed on the roof of the museum. Hustle and bustle on the picture above. In winter bees cuddle up to keep the temperature in the hives on constant 36 degrees. Our bees are doing well, apianist Felix Munk confirms. Learn all about bees during the semester break, we offer special guided tours for kids!
© NHM, Hisham Momen
Striked out mammoth
Our Prehistoric Departement is being closed due to renovations, which means: Everything must go! On the picture you see the evacuation of the impressive mammoth skull, that was located at the entrance of our prehistoric showrooms. © NHM, Kurt Kracher
"Becoming (hu)man" - a brief review
It is almost a year ago that our new permanent exhibiton "Becoming (hu)man" was reopened. Here is a little insight, a look behind the curtain of the finishing works in the anthropology exhibition: One of our ancestors sitting in his box, waiting to be unpacked. Have a look at the final result in our showrooms 14 and 15.
An extraordinary talisman for a Happy New Year
Oh Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary. Protector of the Law, may God protect you! From the bottom of our hearts, we Muslims pray to the Creator: Give him Succour and give him Victory! reads the melodramatic dedication in Persian: On the occasion of his 85th birthday, Emperor Franz Joseph I was given an unusual talisman by Mehdi Gassem, a Persian turquoise cutter living in Vienna: an enormous piece of carved turquoise in a gold setting decorated with the imperial crown and the initials of the emperor, the national coat of arms and the dates 1914 (beginning of the First World War) and 1915 (the year in which the gift was presented).
© Lois Lammerhuber