How Many Specimens Are in the Natural History Museum?

Are you curious about how many specimens are in the Natural History Museum? Well, you’re not alone.

The Natural History Museum is one of the largest museums in the world, with a vast collection of specimens from all corners of the globe. From fossils to minerals, insects to mammals, the museum’s collection is a treasure trove for anyone interested in natural history.

History of the Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum was founded in 1881 and has been collecting specimens ever since. Today, it holds over 80 million specimens, making it one of the largest collections in the world. The museum is divided into five main collections: Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Paleontology, and Zoology.

The Collections

Each collection contains a vast number of specimens. The Botany collection alone has over six million plant specimens from around the world.

The Entomology collection contains over 35 million insect specimens, including some that are extinct. The Mineralogy collection has over one million mineral specimens that range from rare gemstones to meteorites.

The Paleontology collection is home to some iconic fossil specimens like Dippy – a Diplodocus skeleton that stands at an impressive 21 meters long and dominates Hintze Hall at the museum’s entrance. The Zoology collection has over 27 million animal specimens from tiny insects to large mammals.

Some Interesting Specimens

There are so many interesting specimens in the Natural History Museum that it’s hard to choose just a few. But here are some highlights:

  • The Hope Diamond: This blue diamond is one of the most famous gems in the world and weighs 45 carats.
  • The Archaeopteryx: This dinosaur-bird hybrid lived around 150 million years ago and is considered by many to be one of the most important fossils in the world.
  • The Giant Squid: This massive sea creature has tentacles that can grow up to 10 meters long and is rarely seen alive in the wild.


In conclusion, the Natural History Museum is home to an incredible number of specimens that are fascinating to explore. With over 80 million specimens, it would take a lifetime to see them all. So, if you’re ever in London, make sure you take some time to visit this incredible museum and explore the wonders of natural history.