For some, it’s simply a dream come true. To be surrounded by all the colours of the rainbow (and more) of boldly beautiful, yet somehow too enigmatic and rather magical creatures; hundreds of them all at once. Yes, because that dream can come true thanks to a visit to the, well, simply sensational ‘Sensational Butterflies’ exhibit at South Kensington’s über-famous Natural History Museum.
Itself a prized and oft-celebrated, awesome achievement of Victorian architecture deployed for (free) public use, the venue has a long-standing history with butterflies and moths and their ilk. Indeed, just becoming employed by this body in this building and having the chance to indulge one’s passions in cerebral study for many years, is the gift that this placed keeps on giving. After all, the art of preserving and presenting perfect specimens (so prevalent in butterfly-enthusiast circles; i.e. lepidoptery) is pretty much the cornerstone on which the entire museum was initially built on – not far from so many supreme boutique hotels Kensington London.
However, don’t doubt it; this exhibit definitely does enable one to discover (seemingly) all the butterflies known to man, fluttering away to their collective hearts’s consent. A Technicolor tour de force then, it features an enormous array of the ‘wee (flying) beasties’ ethically sourced from South American counties, as well as those in both Africa and Asia.
Visitors, especially young ones (possibly staying at the San Domenico House hotel), are encouraged to follow a trail through a fun jungle habitat – yes, right in the very heart of the UK capital – along which you’ll get the chance to experience hundreds upon hundreds of butterflies. Bliss? Meanwhile, along the way, you’ll also get the chance to discover (genuine) hungry caterpillars; incredible insects that like nothing more than to frequent feeding stations after eventually emerging, totally changed forever more, from their chrysalises.
Additionally, there’s no shortage at all of facts and figures all related to butterflies and caterpillars – and their behaviour, lifestyle, biodiversity and the nature of their habits – that little ones (whatever their age – 9 to 95) can come across, absorb and burrow away deep inside the brain to bring out at a (presumably) appropriate moment? Kids and families can find out fascinating butterfly facts and learn more about the behaviour and diversity of these much-loved creatures.
And as if you needed any more encouragement at all to give this exhibit at this most exquisite natural history exhibition venue a go, give a read the words of Dr Bianca Huertas, the place’s senior curator of butterflies:
“Butterflies and moths are among the planet’s most fascinating creatures”, she’s recorded on the Natural History Museum’s website. “They are able to see in a wider spectrum of colours than us, and their life cycles are one of the wonders of nature”
“And now, Sensational Butterflies gives us the chance to see some of the world’s most beautiful tropical butterflies and moths in all the colours of the rainbow!”