Face your fears and uncover Venom, nature’s ultimate weapon

16 November 2017

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Encounter some of the world’s most venomous creatures and discover their incredible power in this eye-opening exhibition, Venom: Killer and Cure at the Natural History Museum.

Explore the visceral fear and ever-lasting fascination that venom evokes as you get up close to snakes, spiders and scorpions, plus 250 other startling specimens that are on display together for the first time. Find out how across cultures and time, venom has transformed from a deadly weapon to a cure that is used in medicine today to save lives.

Discover how vipers bring down prey with blood-curdling venom, explore how cone snail venom has yielded a drug that can treat chronic pain, and why bee venom is used as an ingredient of facial cream.

Other highlights include:

  • A live star specimen, to be revealed closer to the launch date
  • Exclusive short film with Steve Ludwin, whose unconventional experiences injecting venom have led to developments in pioneering the world’s first human derived anti-venom
  • A 2.5 metre Komodo dragon specimen displayed in spirit allowing visitors to get up close to the most venomous land animal on the planet
  • See the world’s deadliest ants, which are more dangerous than a cobra

Dr Ronald Jenner, venom evolution expert at the Museum, says:

‘We inhabit a world of venom. Our exhibition shows that venom’s immense versatility allows snails to hunt fish, bats to drink blood, and doctors to treat diabetes. It also reveals a world of stark contrasts. Every year, venom causes untold death and suffering, but it saves and improves countless other lives. As scientists explore venom’s vast frontier, new scientific and medical breakthroughs will continue apace.’

Sir Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum adds:

‘The display of creatures from our collection allows an unusually intimate and fascinating close-up view of some of the most feared and deadly animals on our planet, yet many are being researched today for their use as a cure for life threatening human diseases. Powerful specimens from our collection such as these ignite a new curiosity for the natural world and drive our scientific research to unlock answers to some of the biggest global challenges we face today.’

Opening on 10 November, this thrilling exhibition aimed at adults will unnerve, unsettle and entice.

Notes for editors 

Images: Please download and credit © Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Media contact: Tel: +44 (0) 20 7942 5654/+44 (0) 7799 690151 Email: press@nhm.ac.uk

  • The Natural History Museum exists to inspire a love of the natural world and unlock answers to the big issues facing humanity and the planet. More than five million people visit the sites in South Kensington and Tring every year, and the website receives over 500,000 unique visitors a month. It is a world-leading science research centre, and through its unique collection and unrivalled expertise it is tackling issues such as food security, eradicating diseases and managing resource scarcity. www.nhm.ac.uk
  • Discover South Kensington brings together the Natural History Museum and other leading cultural and educational organisations to promote innovation and learning. South Kensington is the home of science, arts and inspiration. Discovery is at the core of what happens here and there is so much to explore every day. discoversouthken.com

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