World’s first-ever microbe zoo opens in Amsterdam


The €10 million Micropia museum is the first interactive microbe zoo ever built and the zoo, which opened on Tuesday this week, gives visitors an insight into the life of the world’s smallest creatures.

The Micropia museum has been purposely located next to the Artis Royal Zoo in Amsterdam so that holidaymakers who are visiting the area during their luxury escorted river cruises in Europe can visit both attractions in one day.

Haig Balian, the Artis Royal Zoo’s director and the man behind the creation of Micropia, told AFP, "Zoos have traditionally tended to show just a small part of nature, namely the larger animals.

"Today we want to display micro-nature."

Micropia to show-off the importance of microbes

Microbes are tiny creatures that make up around two-thirds of all living matter in the world and although microbes are generally associated with illnesses and viruses, Micropia will demonstrate how microbes play a pivotal part in humanity and are vital to the planet’s future.

Haig Balian added, "Microbes are everywhere. Therefore you need microbiologists who can work in every sector: in hospitals, food production, the oil industry and pharmaceuticals, for instance."

The museum has been laid out to look like a laboratory where visitors can look through microscopes and watch large television screens of all different types of microbes.

Visitors can watch the on-goings of a real-life laboratory, take a look at tiny mites that live on our eye lashes and see a giant scale model of the Ebola virus that is currently devastating West Africa.

Visitors can also go through a microbe scanner that tells you how many microbes live in your body and where they live and the museum also has a Kiss-o-Meter, which tells visitors about how many microbes are transferred during a kiss!

Click here to visit Micropia’s official website.

Image Credit: NIAID (flickr.com)

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