Glen Roy, Scotland

Darwin studied the unique geology of Glen Roy when he returned from the Beagle voyage.

Parallel roads of Glen Roy

In 1838 Darwin made observations on the parallel roads of Glen Roy, and of other parts of Lochaber in Scotland, with an attempt to prove that they were of marine origin. He published his paper but later wrote, 'I do believe every word in my Glen Roy paper is false'.

It is now known that the famous geological feature is the remains of ancient shorelines. They formed at the end of the last ice age when an advancing glacier pushed up the water level of a lake that filled the valley.

Cartoon image of a hatchet fish on a museum pass

Until 1938 whale carcasses were buried in the Museum grounds so that their flesh would decay leaving only the skeletons.