One Tank Trips – The Field Museum in Chicago

By: Joel Schipper Email
By: Joel Schipper Email

Make no bones about it, some museums can be a bit boring, stuffy, and lifeless, but not this one.

Welcome to the Field Museum in Chicago.

The massive building actually has millions of artifacts on display, and that's still only two-percent of what the museum owns.

Their latest exhibit is about pirates. Guests can learn all about Capt. Sam Belamey, his ship, weapons, and much more.

"He looted more than 50 ships before it finally sank in 1717. You get to see real artifacts that came up from the ocean off the coast of Cape Cod," explains Orly Telisman of the Field Museum.

The best part of the exhibit is a real sunken treasure chest, the only one in history ever found and documented. It's even more impressive to see in person.

From pirates and treasure to bones and fossils, which is where you can find the most prized possession of the museum -- Sue.

She's been at the Field Museum for about 10 years, but she's actually about 65 million years old. Sue is also the most intact and largest Tyrannosaurus Rex ever discovered.

"She is a ferocious being. I think a lot of people walk in and they see her bones and they say, 'Wow, she doesn't look so big.' But can you image her with all that mass of muscle and skin and teeth coming at you?" asks Telisman.

Sue has plenty of friends joining her, both small and large. They're taken care of extremely well.

A staff of real, in-house, scientists study in labs focusing on anthropology, paleontology, and DNA.

They are even available to talk to patrons of the museum, every day.

"You can talk to a scientist everyday at 11:00 and they'll explain science in real terms for your kids. We need to get kids excited about science here in the United States," says Telisman.

"Unless we make kids excited about science in a way that's going to make kids say, 'this is so cool,' it's not going to make them learn," she continues.

Downstairs you can feel as big as a dinosaur in the museum's underground adventure.

Earwigs sound off as you stroll beneath roots, bugs, and even encounter a hungry spider. It's "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" come to life.

This Chicago institution has been a city icon for nearly 120 years, which is just a drop in the bucket compared to the ages of its most famous inhabitants.

For more information, and a list of free days at the museum, click on the Big Red Bar.

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