It’s a taxidermy museum with hundreds of specimens to spark your interest
A surprising day out, especially if you go with the children
With the typical black humour of the Irish it’s known as the Dead Zoo, because the Natural History Museum contains a huge collection of taxidermy animals – more than 10,000 specimens from all over the globe – preserved for public exposure and scientific learning. It opened its doors in 1857 and since then has undergone several restorations to improve access and public outreach. A gigantic whale skeleton suspended in mid-air gives way to detailed explanations of the fauna from the different continents (tigers, giraffes and elephants included) and to an exhibit which looks at the evolution of marine life. The Museum includes a section dedicated to the indigenous animals of Ireland, like the giant elk, unfortunately now extinct. If you’ve visited similar taxidermy museums before you won’t necessarily be bowled over by the collection, but it will be a pleasantly shocking trip if you go with children.