A new space that celebrates microscopic members of the animal kingdom opens this week at the Grant Museum of Zoology, UCL.

The Micrarium is a place for visitors to come and explore tiny specimens. It’s often said that 95% of known animal species are smaller than your thumb, but despite this most natural history museums fill their displays with big animals.

To right this wrong, the Grant Museum has converted an old office into a beautiful back-lit cave covered with wall-to-wall microscope slides.

Jack Ashby, Manager of the Grant Museum of Zoology, UCL, said: “While public displays very much focus on larger animals, most natural history collections have thousands of very small specimens kept in their storerooms which are rarely shown to the public.

“The Micrarium is a real experiment – we don’t think anything like this has ever been done before. Museums have struggled to come up with a good way of displaying material like this. Our solution is a really beautiful installation where people can explore the huge diversity of tiny lives. We can’t wait to see what people think.”

Over 2000 slides are on display in the Micrarium, lining the walls from floor to ceiling and set against light boxes.

See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/1302/130207-Grant-Museum-opens-the-Micrarium-a-place-for-tiny-things for full details and a video of the display installation.