In Defense of Bảo Tàng Địa Chất, Saigon’s Most Neglected Museum

By (un)conventional standards, Saigon’s Geological Museum may warrant a score of 1.3/9, but if one considers it as a source of whimsy, it’s a solid 8.2/9.For years, Saigoneer’s editorial staff has discussed visiting and writing about the Geological Museum (Bảo tàng Địa chất), but it never got done. I’ve lived here for half a decade, and when I moved to a new neighborhood a year ago my daily walk to the office took me past the museum; yet I still had never entered. Then, on a whim, one random Tuesday morning several weeks ago, I went. The result? I didn’t think I could love Saigon more than I already did, and yet…

The Collection

When a meteor, a hulking hunk of prehistoric mass, shreds through Earth’s atmosphere and slams into the surface, the impact vaporizes terrestrial scraps of minerals and sends debris into the sky. The molten globs float like glassy raindrops and fall thousands of kilometers away. Buried under layers of rock laid over millions of years, occasionally the shiny shards work their way to the surface; shimmering examples of Earth’s immensity and the intensity of time. Have you ever seen one? If not, you can.

A case filled with these tektites awaits in District 1 alongside literal pieces of lava, impressions made by long-extinct sea creatures straight out of a science-fiction movie, and wood transformed to stone. Can you imagine, wood to stone! What was once a tiny seed and then a towering tube of pulp pumping sap to a canopy of soft leaves made into solid rock by the geological machinations of our exceedingly strange planet. No one seems to care. Tiếp tục đọc “In Defense of Bảo Tàng Địa Chất, Saigon’s Most Neglected Museum”