Seodaemun Museum of Natural History, Seoul, South Korea

Seodaemun Museum of Natural History is a first public museum of natural history in South Korea, located in a metropolitan area, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul. It is founded in 2003 and operated by Seodaemun-gu Administration. The purpose of the foundation is to preserve, to study and to exhibit geological and biological records about the local environment.

Seodaemun Museum of Natural History is the first museum in Korea to be established not by a school or an individual, but by local government.

The role of Seodaemun Museum of Natural History is to preserve and research geological and biological facts from the local environment and share information with the public. The museum also has a mission to show that humans are a part of nature, and we can live in harmony with nature. Unlike other developed countries, Korea did not have a natural history museum operated by a public agency.Seodaemun Museum of Natural History is recognized as the first museum in Korea to be established by a public institution.

It has the following characteristics :
Exhibitions are arranged in sequential order of time and space following the historical flow so that natural history will be easily understood and memorable.
Exhibits are designed to be fun and interesting and include a stereoscopic diorama exhibition.

The museum produces educational videos and develops programs designed to enhance the museum experience.

This is a venue for living education.
Seodaemun Museum of Natural History, located in the heart of Seoul, is a place of learning for students, a place of culture for residents, and a place of leisure for families. We aim to provide an opportunity for city dwellers to experience animals and plants, and to help people learn to appreciate and love nature.

Rapid industrialization in Korea has destroyed and polluted the nature and environment, leading to the extinction of many living creatures. There has been an urgent need for an establishment that would collect, preserve and exhibit our natural property. Thus, the Seodaemun District Office decided to establish a comprehensive natural history museum as a part of its local development strategy to develop Seodaemun as a center o education and culture as well as to satisfy the citizen’s cultural needs. After 6 years of planning and construction, the museum opened on July 10th, 2003.

Compared with this, the age of our humanity, Homo sapiens, two hundred thousand years old, is only a fleeting moment.
However, our humanity is the only living creature studies history of the Earth, the universe and the life and exhibits them.Lee Kang-hwan
We, humanity, are precious for the life, the Earth and the universe.
Natural History is literally a study of history of nature and the most important part of the natural history is the history of life. Expressed in other words, the history of life is the history of the ‘extinction’. The word ‘extinction’ may sound terrifying and sad, but in fact, older creatures steeping aside so that new life can emerge is a natural phenomena, which gave rise to our humanity.

All life becomes extinct. Trilobites that ruled the Paleozoic oceans for 300 million years became extinct and dinosaurs that dominated the Mesozoic land for 160 million years naturally became extinct. We have to learn about this extinction from natural history; why the creatures that led glorious lives went extinct.

Until now, there were five large extinctions that took place. The crucial reason for extinction were change of climate and environment. Now, the sixth extinction is in progress. Global warming is something to worry about, but it is hardly the cause of extinction. The current era where the sixth extinction is taking place is called ‘Anthropocene’. It is not the climate or the environment but it is the humanity that is the cause for the extinction.

For sustainable existence of humanity, the most valuable thing on earth, we must put our wisdom together to live in harmony with other creatures that make up our ecosystem. Museum of natural history is the venue for learning and contemplating such wisdom.

Seodaemun Museum of Natural History is the oldest and the most comprehensive public natural history museums in the country. It is also considered to have the best exhibitions and education programs in Asia. Please join us and let’s put our wisdom together in contemplating about the future of nature and humanity at Seodaemun Museum of Natural History.

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