The Wet Collections, Natural History Museum

by James Glazebrook

Visiting the Wet Collections in the Museum für Naturkunde is a little like that scene in Alien: Resurrection when Ripley happens upon a room full of freakish alien experiments in jars. The fact that the one million specimens were collected here on Earth doesn’t stop them appearing other-worldly in their glowing jars of ethanol, and some of them downright facehugger-y. The climate-controlled conditions in the museum’s East Wing, completed in September 2010, mean that you even have to go through a kind of airlock to get to it. Berlin’s Natural History Museum is fast establishing itself as a rival to those in London and New York, but we advise you to stride straight past its main attraction – the largest mounted skeleton in the world – and marvel at the mad creatures we share the planet with today.