Exploring the Yorkshire Museum’s ‘Jurassic World’ Exhibition
Exploring the Yorkshire Museum’s ‘Jurassic
The Yorkshire Museum in York opened their long-awaited ‘Jurassic World’ exhibition to much fanfare earlier this year. Sir David Attenborough, brother of the late Richard Attenborough, who starred in the original Jurassic Park film, attended the opening back in March, with hundreds of thousands of visitors pouring through the door since then.
According to The Yorkshire Post, the decision to open the exhibition was in part inspired by the collective dinosaur mania that kicked off following the release of the 1993 film, an enthusiasm that remains as strong as ever. The museum has proved a hit with locals and international tourists alike, featuring just about everything a dinosaur superfan could ever wish for. Let’s take a look inside to see what Yorkshire’s ‘Jurassic World’ has to offer.
VR and Vertebrae
While the exhibition takes much of its branding and aesthetic from the world-famous film franchise, the actual displays are more grounded in reality. The British paleontologist who helped curate the exhibition recently told The Guardian that, while the scientific community is grateful for the worldwide interest in dinosaurs sparked by the film, it’s a shame the franchise wasn’t more accurate.
Those looking for the real deal will be more than satisfied. The Yorkshire coast is actually home to one of the richest collections of dinosaur fossils in the entire world, many of which have been displayed here, telling a touching story of a long-gone era before humans. There’s Alan the dinosaur, an extremely rare fossilised Sauropod, known mostly from a single piece of vertebrae.
There are perfectly fossilised plants and even dinosaur eggs on display, all uncovered over hundreds of years. For technology buffs, the highlight of the experience comes near the end, where visitors can strap up in virtual reality headgear and explore the landscape of Jurassic-era Yorkshire. This is an exhibition that will satisfy adults and children alike.
Upon the arrival of such a large and expensive exhibition, many locals are wondering why now is the time for it to arrive in Yorkshire. Especially in Britain, Dinosaurs have long enjoyed a prime spot in popular culture, long before the release of the Spielberg film.
During the discovery boom of the Victorian Age, the Brits were gripped with dino fever, still evident today in London’s Crystal Palace Park, where the scientist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins constructed a series of scientifically accurate statues of dinosaurs that still remain.
Of course, it was the arrival of the film franchise that really reignited interest. Not long after the release of the first film, Sega’s smash-hit Jurassic Park arcade game started popping up in shopping centres across the country, with parents lamenting that they couldn’t pull their kids away from them.
The film’s success was shortly followed with the record-breaking BBC documentary series Walking with Dinosaurs, which completely changed how people viewed these prehistoric creatures, in light of a more scientific approach.
Arguably, much of the exhibition’s success can be attributed to the revival of the film series, starting with the 2015 film Jurassic World, which was the fifth-highest grossing film of all-time, as well as the exhibition’s namesake.
The revival of the films has clearly sparked a renewed appetite for dinosaurs in all walks of life. The game series has revived again, with the Jurassic World Evolution Xbox game and the hugely popular online slot game by Betway, Jurassic Park™ helping to further fuel this intense interest. More and more dinosaur-themed releases are slated in the future, including more films, all of which will likely prove to benefit the Yorkshire Museum.
The Future of Yorkshire Tourism?
When it comes to tourism in Yorkshire, much more could be made of the region’s prehistoric heritage. Devon and Cornwall certainly attract a lot of tourism dollars with their own “Jurassic Coast”, despite their actual fossil numbers being much lower.
Visitors to Yorkshire have frequently stumbled upon dinosaur bones by complete accident, which shows how much there is to still uncover. Prehistory is just as much a part of Yorkshire’s heritage as the Dales, the Vikings, the Industrial Revolution, Richard III, and the Shambles, and should, therefore, be celebrated as such.
Dinosaur mania isn’t going anywhere, so Yorkshire would be well advised to capitalise on this even further and broadcast their heritage proudly.