Did you know that we have a natural history museum in Singapore? When I first posted a video of this place on TikTok, no one really knew about this museum which is located within the campus grounds of National University of Singapore (NUS) at Kent Ridge.
I used to study at NUS but this museum wasn’t established yet during my days. But I remembered that there was a small exhibit of plants and animal specimens at Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research within the Science Faculty. And today, all their collection of specimens have enlarged and everything is now housed in this building.
About Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM)
LKCNHM was first established in 2015. All of their plant and animal collections are housed in this seven-storey green building with their biodiversity gallery. The gallery, covering 2 floors, features 15 zones which trace the history of life on earth. And their much-talked-about exhibit is the dinosaur bones – a diplodocid sauropod skeleton – that can be found in the middle of the gallery. Yes, you can find dinosaur bones in Singapore!
Visiting a natural history museum is similar to visit the zoo except the animals and plants are all dead and still. Since they are all dead, you can observe them at a closer distance and to me, it is rather fascinating to observe all the minute details of their skin, covering, eyes and bones.
Admission and Ticketing Details
The museum opens from 10 am to 6 pm and the last admission timing is 4.30 pm. Ticket prices are $9 per child and $16 per adult for Singaporeans and PR. Children under the age of 3 can enter the museum for free. It’s also free for all NUS staff and students from Tuesdays to Sundays. I’m not sure if this museum is under SingapoRediscover’s list of approved attractions but if it is, you should use your vouchers for this!
You can also join their volunteer-led guided tours but they are currently suspended due to COVID-19.
Here are some of the museum highlights!
There are 3 diplodocid saropod fossils in this museum. The bones are dug out from a quarry at a small town of Ten Sleep in the United States.
2. Life-sized Rafflesia flower (replica)
Ever wonder how the world’s largest flower look like? Here’s a replica of the Rafflesia, which is also one of the smelliest plant on earth. It can be found in the rainforests of Indonesia.
3. Pressed Plant specimens on Herbarium sheets
All these plant specimens are dried and pressed on herbarium sheets to preserve them. Can you imagine that these plant specimens are collected from years ago?
3. Preserved animals in jars
I know these look very creepy but how often do you get to see animals at their young or embryonic stages?
4. Seashell Collection
Our Singapore shores use to have all kinds of seashells but these days we are advise not to pick or collect seashells as they are habitats of certain organisms.
5. Horseshoe Crab
Horseshoe crabs are one of the oldest living anthropoids on earth. You can spot them in brackish waters of mangroves and coastal areas in Singapore. But how often do we urbanites get to see them? I’ve often read them in our school textbooks but I’ve never seen a real-life horseshoe crab before. But you will get to see it firsthand in this natural history gallery.
6. Insect Collection
It’s insane to be staring at all these real but dead creatures at such a close proximity. You can literally see the intricate details of the butterfly wing patterns and body structures. It makes you appreciate the beauty in all of God’s creations.
8. One of the largest Crustacean in the region
This is a real specimen of a Japanese Spider crab. They can grow up to 12 feet long and they can live for up to a century old or even longer.
9. Deep Sea Creatures
You can even find specimens of angler fish and other deep sea creatures here. These specimens are such a rare find.
10. Have you seen real primate and other mammal bones?
Do humans evolve from monkeys? You might just find the answer right here at this exhibit.
This is worth a visit!
Even if you are not into plants or animals, you will still find this exhibition enriching. If you’re a plant or animal lover, you might find yourself in paradise.
It took me about an hour or so to do a quick scan through just to cover all the exhibition grounds on level 1 and 2. But if you’re into animals, you might have to allocate at lease 2 hours to study the exhibits in detail.
I would definitely love to visit this museum again and perhaps attend their museum tours for a more in-depth understanding of their exhibits.
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
Address: National University of Singapore 2 Conservatory Drive, Singapore 117377