This 50-foot prehistoric giant great white shark was imposing. Its species name means “big tooth.” Three guesses what this monster used for hunting.
This delicate Japanese art form often depicts a story in progress. This screen shows cherry blossoms in early spring. A rope strung around the trees holds up large, ornate brocades. The cloth acts as curtains to block off the area for a blossom-viewing party.
The O. Orkin Insect Zoo lets you get up-close and very personal with some of its inhabitants. The O. Orkin Insect Zoo is a special exhibit hall on the 2nd Floor of the National Museum of Natural History where visitors can observe live insects and their many-legged relatives. Volunteers conduct tarantula feeding demonstrations, work with live insects that visitors may touch and hold, and answer questions about the many-legged creatures that live in the Insect Zoo.
And how do we know? Smithsonian scientists are studying the behavior of black bears, sun bears, giant pandas and dozens of other species through photos from motion-sensor camera traps around the world.
Painter James McNeill Whistler was only given permission to make minor alterations to a client’s dining room, but he went much further. He covered the ceiling with gold leaf and painted it and the wainscoting, cornices, shelving, shutters and walls in a lush pattern of peacock feathers—and peacocks.
A handmade stamp canceling device once used the postal service.
Shoes worn by famed Afro-Cuban vocalist Celia Cruz.
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Abraham Lincoln's gold watch.
Meteorites at the Smithsonian. From slicing them open to expose their inner secrets to revealing how one emperor used a meteorite to make blades for his ceremonial weapons—Smithsonian experts study meteorites from many angles.
Tuskegee Airmen Congressional Gold Medal.
The rolled leaf beetle C. alternans
Orchids. With their beauty, mystery and deceit, the Smithsonian's collection of nearly 8,000 live orchids try every trick in the book just to get pollinated.
Swarna is one of the National Zoo’s three new female Asian elephants.
Baseball autographed by Babe Ruth, 1926.
Paul Thek’s Fishman. The sculpture has changed a lot since its creation in 1968: The original color of the latex has darkened and lost its elasticity, and parts of the sculpture have broken or crumbled away. In 2010, Fishman underwent a major treatment, which required conservators at Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum to develop new techniques since established conservation materials and methods weren’t compatible with the material.
Join Anthony Carp at Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum as he shows us the science behind how he hangs some of our heaviest artifacts at the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center.
An olivine crystal from the Pacific Ocean.
The Dom Pedro aquamarine.
The Apollo Lunar Module number 2
Staff from Smithsonian Gardens show us plants that smell good enough to eat!
The Natural History Museum's new interactive learning space.
Ancient bones from an endangered seabird, the Hawaiian petrel.
Dancers celebrate the Persian New Year at the Freer and Sackler Galleries.
Join Smithsonian's National Zoo keeper, Stacey Tabellario, as she shows us why enrichment activities for our Asian Small-Clawed Otters are so important.
A male purple-throated carib hummingbird.
Sugar skulls from a Day of the Dead celebration.
Natural chocolate is actually a reddish color. Chocolate didn't turn brown until chemists got their hands on it.
National Postal Museum Atrium
The ensemble worn by Marian Anderson for her historic concert at the Lincoln Memorial.
Happy American Archives Month! The Smithsonian Institution Archives staff show us how the Smithsonian has been crowd sourcing for 165 years.
A Norway Rat at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.
The variety of planets being detected by NASA's Kepler spacecraft.
Surprisingly, Lovelace never met her poet father due to a parental squabble. In fact, her overprotective mother sheltered her from the arts and nudged her to pursue math and science. Lovelace is best known for translating and adding to notes about Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, including a method for calculating Bernoulli numbers; this is widely consider to be the script for the first computer program.
At the turn of the 20th century, the majority of baseball players sported mustaches. But by the 1930s, fuzzy upper lips were frowned upon in the major leagues. The idea was to make the game more appealing to families, by keeping the boys clean-shaven and well groomed.
“Stephanocyathus (A.) spiniger,” a solitary, deep-water coral species.
The Freer Gallery's renowned Peacock Room.
A Volkswagen Beetle named "Vochol®" was decorated by indigenous craftsmen.
Meet Homo floresiensis, nicknamed “hobbit” because of its short stature and large feet. This early human species lived on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Its body and brain were very small, probably due to the scarce resources available on the one island where it’s been found so far.
The Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden.
It can! In this case, a fear of iguanas can be an inspiration to explore identity in pictures. Karen Miranda Rivadeneira is a Latina artist featured in the National Portrait Gallery's new exhibition, Portraiture Now: Staging the Self. Karen uses photography to explore the intersection between memory and identity.
A Jungle Nymph at the O. Orkin Insect Zoo.
A witch hazel tree in Smithsonian's Ripley Garden.
A guitar from Smithsonian's vast musical instrument collection.
You can 3D print a model of a supernova made from Smithsonian data. It is one of 23 collection items that have been 3D scanned and data made available for download by the Smithsonian 3D Digitization team.
Presidents and prehistoric swimming: Discover sloths in a whole new way!
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is the companion facility to the Museum on the National Mall.
Katydids! Their front wings have special structures that can be rubbed together to make sounds. They hear these sounds with flat patches on their legs that act as ears.
With a list jotted down on a scrap of paper, Pablo Picasso listed the European artists he recommended for the 1913 Armory Show. With phonetic spelling, Picasso recommended Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Leger and Juan Gris, among others.
This photo is one of 100 that make up the “American Cool” exhibition at the Portrait Gallery.
The Smithsonian honors the musical legacy of Coltrane during Jazz Appreciation month.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passenger pigeon’s extinction.
May 2014 marks the 75th anniversary of Batman’s debut with DC Comics.
Companies pay millions to broadcast innovative ads during the Super Bowl. In 1984, Apple promised in its Super Bowl XVIII spot that when its Macintosh was released, “you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984’.” The “Classic” Macintosh PC introduced clickable icons (with the newly introduced “mouse”) to open programs instead of typing out program commands.
At The National Postal Museum, visitors can create their own stamp collection on topics that interest them most. Interactive stations also allow visitors to create their own stamp designs.
70% of the world's people live in the coastal zone. Join the fight for this guy.
Lady slipper orchids are just some of the varieties in the exhibition “Orchids of Latin America.”
This is the smallest shark, a dwarf lantern shark – smaller than a person's hand!
This folk art guitar has a two chambers for stashing strings, picks or snacks
Venus fly-trap anemone, deep in the Gulf of Mexico
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory has illustrated the energy distribution of our universe by using a jar of jelly beans, mostly black. Dark energy and dark matter (black jelly beans) take up most of the Universe.
Abraham Lincoln's life mask by sculptor Clark Mills, 1865
Hokusai’s Mt. Fuji: an icon in Japanese art
Few have witnessed the flamboyant courtship displays of Papua New Guinea's Flame Bowerbird. Hidden in the dense jungles, the bird's extraordinary mating ritual has captured the interest of wildlife experts across the world.