Tequila is made from the agave plant. Certain species of bats feed on the nectar of agave flowers and in the process they pollinate the flower and help the plant to thrive.
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.
Scientists can often anticipate volcanic activity through a series of small earthquakes below the surface of a volcano or when a volcano inflates, like a balloon. But there is one type of volcanic eruption that can be near impossible for scientists to anticipate.
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.
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.
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.
Tuskegee Airmen Congressional Gold Medal.
The rolled leaf beetle C. alternans
Join Smithsonian's National Zoo keeper, Stacey Tabellario, as she shows us why enrichment activities for our Asian Small-Clawed Otters are so important.
Swarna is one of the National Zoo’s three new female Asian elephants.
Baseball autographed by Babe Ruth, 1926.
Staff from Smithsonian Gardens show us plants that smell good enough to eat!
Natural chocolate is actually a reddish color. Chocolate didn't turn brown until chemists got their hands on it.
An olivine crystal from the Pacific Ocean.
The Dom Pedro aquamarine.
The Apollo Lunar Module number 2
Happy American Archives Month! The Smithsonian Institution Archives staff show us how the Smithsonian has been crowd sourcing for 165 years.
The Natural History Museum's new interactive learning space.
Ancient bones from an endangered seabird, the Hawaiian petrel.
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.
Dancers celebrate the Persian New Year at the Freer and Sackler Galleries.
A male purple-throated carib hummingbird.
Sugar skulls from a Day of the Dead celebration.
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.
National Postal Museum Atrium
The ensemble worn by Marian Anderson for her historic concert at the Lincoln Memorial.
A Norway Rat at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.
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.
The variety of planets being detected by NASA's Kepler spacecraft.
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.
“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.
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.
The Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden.
A Jungle Nymph at the O. Orkin Insect Zoo.
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.
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.
A witch hazel tree in Smithsonian's Ripley Garden.
A guitar from Smithsonian's vast musical instrument collection.
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.
This photo is one of 100 that make up the “American Cool” exhibition at the Portrait Gallery.
When wearing the Armbrust cup. This odd device, worn over the face, converts condensation from breath into drinking water. Renowned pilot Charles Lindbergh always took one with him on flights over the ocean in case of an emergency landing.
The Smithsonian honors the musical legacy of Coltrane during Jazz Appreciation month.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passenger pigeon’s extinction.
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.
May 2014 marks the 75th anniversary of Batman’s debut with DC Comics.
70% of the world's people live in the coastal zone. Join the fight for this guy.
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.
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!
If you were a pirate, not much. Being constantly at sea meant little food and a lot of mold, so pirates mostly survived on a diet of dried meats and, you guessed it, rum.
This folk art guitar has a two chambers for stashing strings, picks or snacks
Yes. Massive pesticides used for growing coffee on plantations can immediately affect tropical forests and the birds that live there. Luckily, some coffee growers are using shade-grown coffee, which plays a key role in environmental conservation and for migratory birds.
Yes. In ancient Egypt, amulets made of stone often represented sacred animals, including cats. Amulets were believed to give their owners magical protection from evil forces.
Venus fly-trap anemone, deep in the Gulf of Mexico
Abraham Lincoln's life mask by sculptor Clark Mills, 1865
Hokusai’s Mt. Fuji: an icon in Japanese art