10. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., USA
Sculptures are neat and all, but the Smithsonian has a North Atlantic right whale hanging from the ceiling, and that’s a source of wonder few museums can replicate. Even in Google museum view, the vast array of specimens and reconstruction tableaus in D.C.’s enormously popular collection is shocking and awakens a little of that schoolkid glee in all of us. But the Smithsonian’s greatest asset is its fundamental academic interest in all forms of life—spiders, flowers, and a very gneiss geological gallery occupy as much space as the iconic elephant in the foyer or the ancient hominids in the Human Origins wing. Take the tour here.
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