Of Mountains and Sperm Whales

Some weeks ago, I went to visit The Oman Natural History Museum. I have always felt bad that I haven’t been the most eager when it comes to exploring this city I have been living in for the past four years, the other day while perusing a book about Oman, I found out that the said Museum is located just five minutes away from the Embassy.And I thought it would be great to go to a place where I can learn about Oman’s Geoloy, its flora and fauna.

Located inside the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, the Museum has a great collection of Omans’ natural treasures.

When I first arrived here it is one of the main things that I really found fascinating are its rocky mountains. And even today four years later, every time I turn a corner and see the mountains I still find myself at awe seeing it as the city’s background. Anyway, the Museum has this wall that explains how the rocky mountains of Oman came to be. The Hajar Mountains of Oman is a result of the peninsula where the country sits being moved, pushed, crushed in a span of about 800 million years old.

A picture of the Mountains here in Muscat near my neighborhood.

Some people might find it boring to look at old rocks and dead shells but I always find them fascinating, small connections that we have from the past. The Museum has a bunch of really old rocks and shells, some dated as old as 70 million years old.

Oman also has a very vibrant wild life, of course you would have to really make your own exploration in order to really see them, but the Museum can give you a bit of a glimpse of that with its collection of stuffed animals.

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But my most favorite part of the museum is found in another small room outside the main hall. In the late 70’s the remains of Sperm Whale washed up in the Omani coastline. They preserved the remains (according to one Omani who was kind enough to walk us around) by burying it under ground for a time until it was okay to uncover its bones.

The Museums Main Attraction.
The Museums Main Attraction.

It is of course not as big as the other Natural History Museums in other major cities, but one of the great things about living here in Oman is that even in the city nature still seems so close by. Living in a very urban Manila, waking up to birds chirping, clean air, and mountains and flowers surrounding my everyday is something I was never used to. Here in Muscat such things are always around you and the country has done a great job of not taking it for granted and making sure to co-exist with it.


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