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The World’s Biggest Flower! …and Other Things to See and Do at the Museum

- Emily

For the past few weeks the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences has been housing one bloom of the world’s biggest flower. Native to Sumatra, this endangered species is now the 28th of its kind to bloom in the US and the 2nd to bloom in Texas. Each plant only blooms once every few years! Called Amorphophallus titanum, or for normal people the “corpse flower”, the bloom can reach 9 feet in height and 7 feet in diameter once bloomed. Why is it called the corpse flower? Because it smells like rotting meat! That plus its blood red color are supposed to attract flies and other bugs to it to help pollination. Early explorers once thought it was a man-eating plant!

This past week, when I went to go visit the plant with my friend, it hadn’t yet bloomed, but luckily, the stench doesn’t start till it blossoms. Located right next to the butterfly exhibit, you get a two-in-one package – a giant blossom AND a room full of butterflies! The butterfly exhibit was huge and well worth the money with an educational center right next door so you can learn all about the little guys before examining them.

But we didn’t just stare at bugs for our whole visit. After the butterfly exhibit, we had lunch at the almost too convenient McDonalds in the main hall of the museum. Next, we saw a movie on black holes on the ceiling of the planetarium – my favorite part of the whole museum and a must see for anyone who visits HMNS. The plethora of permanent exhibits we visited includes an energy hall – all about the black gold of Texas (oil) with plenty of interactive games for kids: a chemistry hall with a show that is NOT worth watching if you’re over age 10 and a gemstone exhibit, just to name a few. These are free every Tuesday after 2 pm. Also, the museum has special exhibits that change every few months, all varying in prices.

The neatest part of the museum are the Foucault Pendulum – which allows you to see how fast the world actually spins – and a giant granite ball just off the main hallway. It’s got a mini unseen fountain underneath it that allows anyone to move this 2-ton ball with ease. My friend and I spent 20 minutes spinning it around!

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a great place to go whether for the day or for an hour, so have fun!


Isn’t it huge?!

(for more info visit – http://www.hmns.org/ )

To read more blogs about Houston, check our the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo!

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