A time machine that goes back a billion years

By Quynh Tran   February 29, 2020 | 10:12 pm GMT+7

Saigon's Museum of Geology is a bridge that tangibly connects with the present a past that goes back more than a billion years.

The museum located at the downtown area of the city looks like an aging block of rock itself, reflecting the host of precious gems and stones it holds. Built in 1970, its stores 3,000 samples dated millions of years ago

The museum, situated at 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, District 1, looks like an aging block of rock itself. Built in 1970, it displays only 3,000 of the 13,000 items it has dating back to millions of years ago.

The three-floor building sits on a total area of about 300 square meter and currently stores 13,000 specimens but only displays only 3,000. Each floor has a different theme, including geology, minerals, paleontology and gems.

Each floor of the three-storied building has a different theme: geology, minerals, paleontology, and gems.

On the ground floor, a geological map detailing the richness of Vietnam’s minerals is displayed. It was drawn in 1988. This map was drawn by scientists for many years which took years of studies. It has clear annotations and is important to those who work on geology, said Le Quoc Thanh, 50, a curator of the museum.

In the ground floor, a geological map detailing the richness of Vietnam’s minerals is displayed. It was created in 1988.

Le Quoc Thanh, 50, a curator at the museum, said: "This map was drawn by scientists over many years after years of study. It has clear annotations and is important to those who work on geology."

Stone samples dating back tens of millions of years are displayed in glass cabinets. The curator said most of the specimens were collected by the French in Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia).

Stone samples dating back tens of millions of years are displayed in glass cabinets.

Thanh said most of the specimens were collected by the French in Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia).

A rock specimen, found in Kontum province in Central Highlands, is about 1,600 million years old.

A rock specimen found in Kon Tum Province in the Central Highlands is 1.6 billion years old.

Gemstones like quartz, marble, ruby, sapphire, topaz in many shapes and sizes show the richness of Vietnams geology.

Gemstones like quartz, marble, ruby, sapphire, and topaz in many shapes and sizes.

Fossils of animals and plants add to the diversity of samples in the museum.

There are fossils of animals and plants.

A giant seashell fossil was found on Phan Vinh Island in the Spratly Islands of Vietnam.

A giant seashell fossil was found on Phan Vinh Island in the Spratly Islands (Truong Sa) of Vietnam.

The museum also has an archive ofstone tools made by prehistoric people like axes and knives.

The museum has stone tools made by prehistoric people like axes and knives.

Crude oil, iron, copper, gold, zinc are also interesting to look at. The crude oil samples found in the southern sea in the 1980s in Vietnam have important implications for the country’s energy industry.

Crude oil, iron, copper, gold, zinc are also interesting to see. The crude oil samples (pictured) found in the southern sea in the 1980s have important implications for the country’s energy security.

The museum also displays many samples of soil, gems and minerals from many countries around the world. In the picture, a sample was brought from Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The museum also displays many samples of soil, gems and minerals from other countries. The sample in this picture is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The specimens here are very rich, my favorite is the fossils and rock samples dated tens of millions of years ago. The museum exhibitions are easy to understand and they help me gain more knowledge about geology, said Hoa, a museum visitor.  The museum, located at 1A Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, District 1, is free of admission and open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during weekdays.

Hoa, a museum visitor, said: "My favorites are the fossils and rock samples dating back tens of millions of years. The exhibitions are easy to understand and they help me gain more knowledge about geology."

The museum is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on all weekdays, and admission is free.

 
 
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