Truthfully, when we think of museums, the idea of “Bugs” does not usually come to mind. Yes they are part of the world ecosystem, but generally we rarely give them a second thought, unless they are invading our space. The Museum of Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington New Zealand is doing something about that.
Working with the amazing designers and crafts-persons from WETA Workshop (yes, that WETA Workshop), Te Papa has built an exhibit that showcases the amazing world of bugs from a bugs perspective. The idea being that bugs have built an exhibit for people to learn about them. Details like the added story of this are what make exhibits like this so powerful and educational.
Broken down into a series of key “pods”, the exhibit not only shows how certain bugs interact and operate but also (as with most exhibits at Te Papa) are very interactive. You can perform micro brain surgery and turn a cockroach into your zombie slave. In a beautifully built hive pod, you control the bee hive that is attempting to destroy the intruding wasp. Complete your task and you are treated to an excited light show of activity.
The exhibit truly has something to keep every age bracket busy, entertained and educated (we learned much more then expected). Where else can you learn about flight, wing usage, how bug patterns influence money, which bug shoots boiling water out of its abdomen and how and of course travel down a “fart” slide (you will understand when you do it).
We at BtT are no strangers to Te Papa of course and we have highlighted a few of the exhibits here (as it is in our Headquarters’s backyard) but are continually surprised by the amazing exhibits they roll out regularly. We were also impressed by the partnership with WETA Workshop. WETA has really pushed Te Papa exhibits to an amazing caliber and why not use them… they are also right here in Wellington and produce amazing results.
An additional amazing fact is that this entire exhibit is also made to travel. Built solid but flexible, everything in this exhibit is meant to be broken down and carted around as a traveling exhibit, so if you cannot make it to Wellington New Zealand, stay tuned as it may be coming to you, once it has finished its run in Wellington.
Te Papa continues to amaze us with their exhibits and displays and one day we will do a complete walk through of this incredible museum right here in the heart of New Zealand. Until then we will have a pictorial coming very soon of the Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War Exhibit. You can also check out previous exhibits, including the Dreamworks Exhibit that we previously covered and as always if something new and exciting shows up in our backyard we will bring it to you.