A pale-throated sloth, Bradypus tridactylus

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Afraid of the dark?

The Natural History Museum’s major new exhibition dares you to venture into the shadows of Life in the Dark.

Media Preview: Thursday 12 July, 08.30 – 10.30

  • Descend into underground caves, plunge to the depths of our oceans and see what awakens in the night in this immersive exhibition
  • Sensational installations recreate habitats hidden from view - be surrounded by bats deep underground and experience an extraordinary and bewitching bioluminescence display 
  • Discover hundreds of incredible creatures, some brand new to science, that have adapted to a life without sunlight
  • An exhibition that taps into every sense: touch some of Britain’s nocturnal animals, listen to the sounds of the deep sea, smell the distincitve aromas of the bat cave and see through the eyes of a cave boa using infrared technology
  • Free for children aged 16 and under

This summer, the Natural History Museum invites you to leave the light behind and venture into the darkest corners of our world to meet the intriguing animals that flourish where humans would struggle to survive.

Immersive exhibits invite you to step into the shadowy nocturnal world, through bat-filled caves, and down to the ‘midnight’ zones of the deep sea as you come face to face with over 100 wild and wonderful creatures that have developed extraordinary senses and behaviours in order to thrive in the dark.

Encounter some of nature’s greatest adaptations: watch the live blind cave fish that navigate without eyes, moths that scream at their predators and the vampire squid whose ability to flash light and turn itself ‘inside out’, makes it a master of defence and disguise.

Other star creatures in this family-friendly exhibition include the furry fennec fox, the wide-eyed tarsier, the alien-like Dumbo octopus and the aye-aye, each with their own story to tell.

Museum scientists continue to research these obscure territories both in the field and in the lab. Visitors can hear the awe-inspiring accounts of scientists discovering previously unknown creatures and view breathtaking live footage from the deep sea, transporting them into this bustling abyss.

Life in the Dark appeals to both adults and families. Free for children 16 years and under, visitors will voyage into the depths of darkness discovering the extraordinary diversity of the natural world.

Clare Matterson, Director of Engagement at the Natural History Museum says, ‘This is a thrilling exhibition that transports visitors to the otherworldy realms of the deep sea and caves, and challenges what we think we know about the creatues that inhabit the night.

'With playful exhibits, theatrical story-telling from Nissen Richards Studio and dazzling light displays from Jason Bruges Studio, Life in the Dark is an interactive experience which brings the astounding diversity of the natural world to life.’


Dates and times: 13 July 2018  - 6 January 2019, 10.00 - 17.50 (last admission 17.15)

Special free event: Lates: Life in the Dark, 27 July 2018, 18.00-22.00

Admission: Free to children aged 16 and under (Up to 3 children per adult)
                    *Donation Adult £14.00, *Donation Concession £9.50
                    Non-donation Adult £12.50, Non-donation Concession £8.50
                    *Online donation Adult £13.00, *Online donation Concession £8.50
                    Online non-donation Adult £11.50, Online non-donation Concession £7.50

                *The Museum is a charitable institution. If you include a small donation with your tickets, you help us to continue our pioneering scientific research, education and conservation.

Location:           Waterhouse Gallery
Nearest tube:    South Kensington
Website:            http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/life-in-the-dark.html


Notes for editors

Images: Please download and credit according to file names.

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. 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. The Natural History Museum is the most visited natural history museum in Europe and the top science attraction in the UK; we welcome more than 4.5 million visitors each year and our website receives over 500,000 unique visitors a month. People come from around the world to enjoy our galleries and events and engage both in-person and online with our science and learning activities through innovative programmes such as citizen science and family festivals. www.nhm.ac.uk