A large boulder and a sod of turf with an oak tree are the main characters of Earth Inside, a playful exhibition that explains to children and their parents the purpose of minerals in the earth.
You enter the exhibition in a dusky room situated under an uprooted tree. Between several different sorts of stone you can see a small boulder. This ‘talking rock’ tells you what it has experienced since it rolled down the mountain and was carried along with the river current. Above head height, you can see a little stream flowing across the sod. Climb the ladder and have a look at it from the summit of this exhibition. The colourful sanctuary of plants and animals surrounding the oak tree can only be seen by standing on the boulder. You’ll find telescopes there so you can zoom in on the smallest of details. The sloth’s nest is also located on this rock. It’ll help you find more in-depth information on all subjects from the Earth Inside exhibition.
After leaving the sloth’s nest you arrive in a ‘rock bakery’ at the foot of the huge boulder. The rock bakery is a mineral kitchen that has different kind of stones on the menu. Choose your own ingredients, mix them together and determine the right pressure and temperature. Then bake the mixture in an oven, which imitates the process taking place at the inner depths of the earth. Your private stone has now been baked under exactly the right conditions.
On the other side of the rock, in the cavity of the boulder, is a mineral scanner. When you feed in information about the last meal you had and quietly remain seated, your body is scanned and the scanner shows where the minerals from your food have gone. Close to the big boulder a neon sign announces the presence of an ‘animal restaurant’. There are several different guests seated round the table, from birds and mammals to insects. Visitors can find out what an animal likes by holding one of the many different foods in front of its mouth. The animal either grabs the food and swallows it or keeps its mouth tight shut and shakes its head. But mind you, the animal restaurant not only reveals what’s on the menu, but also asks the most exciting question: “Who eats who?”
In 1998 the museum won the Prins Bernhard Fonds Museum Award.