The Most Instagrammable Scenes in SparkLab

Add colour to your reels and brighten your profile with a trip to SparkLab! SparkLab is where the young and young-at-heart come to ignite their imaginations and explore the many amazing ways that science manifests in our everyday lives. A wonderful by-product of these scientific phenomena is stunning colour, light, sound and movement that make for an epic photo op. So, if you’re an Instagram … Continue reading The Most Instagrammable Scenes in SparkLab

Clothed in tradition

Written by Judith Hickson, Curator, Queensland Stories In today’s world, where increasing importance is placed on fashion, what we wear is a window into our social worlds – a kind of non-verbal, symbolic language which speaks for who we are and how we would like others to see us. Though interpretations may differ across cultures and circumstances, concepts and ideas about personality, religious affiliation, authority … Continue reading Clothed in tradition

Reimagining the Collection for Library and Information Week 2022

by Shannon Robinson, Queensland Museum Librarian Rewrite. Renew. Reimagine. This is the theme of 2022’s Library and Information Week #LIW2022, to not only celebrate Australian libraries and the stories their collections hold but to also consider the opportunities for re-telling and re-interpretation. What better place to find a collection full of material primed for this theme than the Queensland Museum Library? Our library holds items … Continue reading Reimagining the Collection for Library and Information Week 2022

A new lizard genus from the mountains of North Queensland

By Paul Oliver, Janne Torkolla, Jessica Worthington-Wilmer and Patrick Couper In the mist-shrouded mountains of Queensland’s Wet Tropics there lives a secretive and very sensitive little lizard. This species main claim to fame is that unlike your typical reptile, it is apparently intolerant of even modest temperatures. In the “bible” of Australian lizard ecology the lizard researcher Allen Greer reports that “it will perish, presumably … Continue reading A new lizard genus from the mountains of North Queensland

Avro Baby: Original or Museum Mock-Up?

By Peter Volk, Assistant Collections Manager, Queensland Museum How “real” is the Avro Baby flown by Bert Hinkler? This interesting question was raised in a recent public inquiry about one of the most significant objects in Queensland Museum’s collection. We often get inquiries at the museum that are slightly left field or cause us to think differently about our collection. This happened recently when we fielded … Continue reading Avro Baby: Original or Museum Mock-Up?

Humans of SparkLab – Alli

Alli is a science communicator with a Masters of Science Communication Outreach, a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Graduate Diploma in Communication. More recently, she finished a Certificate II in Auslan and is enjoying learning this beautiful language and being involved in the Deaf community. What first sparked your interest in science? My year three teacher had our class play with cornflour slime! I … Continue reading Humans of SparkLab – Alli

Obscure by name, obscure by nature: A cryptic insect, little known, rarely seen

By Kieran Aland & Christine Lambkin, Queensland Museum Among the numerous objects and specimens on display at the Queensland Museum are some with truly extraordinary stories! Today Kieran from the Discovery Centre joins us to share one of his favourite specimens from the museum’s displays. This insect displayed in the Discovery Centre appears rather drab. It is so poorly known that it lacks a common … Continue reading Obscure by name, obscure by nature: A cryptic insect, little known, rarely seen

Moonshine, Cane Farms and Mascots: Histories of a Jug

How one jug in Queensland Museum’s collection can lead to many histories. Tess Shingles, Acting Assistant Curator, Queensland Stories Have you ever wondered what moonshine, Queensland farming, and mascots have in common? Answer: The Beenleigh Rum Character Jug, though perhaps not at first glance. This jug, held in Queensland Museum’s collection is quite small, colourful and full of character. The “Beenleigh Rum” painted on the … Continue reading Moonshine, Cane Farms and Mascots: Histories of a Jug

The Mabo Decision 30 years on… the legacy lives on

By Leitha Assan, Senior Curator, Indigenous Cultures From its inception in Townsville in 1981 to the High Court victory on 3 June 1992, 2022 marks 30 years since the historical landmark Mabo decision was handed down by the High Court of Australia. The High Court ruled that the Meriam people were entitled to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of their Islands, effectively recognising their Native Title. … Continue reading The Mabo Decision 30 years on… the legacy lives on

Getting Drawn into Archaeology for National Archaeology Week

Guest Blogger – Dr Emma Rehn (@BlueRehn), James Cook University and ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) Alongside the fascinating artefacts and objects in the archaeological collections at Queensland Museum, you’ll also find a range of maps and drawings. Archaeological illustrations record crucial data and come in many forms – read on to learn more about visuals in archaeology in honour … Continue reading Getting Drawn into Archaeology for National Archaeology Week

Resin: an essential piece of kit

By Marisa Giorgi, Information Officer, Queensland Museum There is nothing new about the use of adhesives and sealants. They have been a critical element in the technology of First Australians for thousands of years. Plant-based resin has been employed in the production of many traditional tools and when prepared correctly, resin can become as hard as rock. There is evidence of resin-use in toolmaking from … Continue reading Resin: an essential piece of kit

Bring back ‘furphy’, an old word for a modern problem

There is a lot of questionable information doing the rounds on social media. Many contributions are distorted or exaggerated, and some are just plain wrong, rest assured we have made every effort to verify what follows. There is an old Australian term which can be aptly applied to a false rumour or theory: it’s a ‘furphy’. The use of the word ‘furphy’ for misinformation can … Continue reading Bring back ‘furphy’, an old word for a modern problem

Spawning the new coral emoji

Love 😍 them or hate 😡 them – emoji are a universal picture language understood by all. They just magically appeared on our devices one day, right? In fact, the first emoji were designed in 1999 but that’s a whole other (very interesting) story. As more and more emoji inserted themselves into daily life, people began to lament – why don’t they have a ‘#insertwhateveremojiyouwishforhere? … Continue reading Spawning the new coral emoji

Mistakes can happen

By Patrick Couper, Senior Curator Vertebrates, Queensland Museum The biological specimens in museum collections need constant monitoring to ensure their long-term preservation. Initially they are treated in a manner that prevents decay. For wet vertebrate collections (whole specimens stored in jars or vats of alcohol), an animal’s organs, muscles and other tissues are fixed, usually with formalin. This results in the formation of covalent bonds … Continue reading Mistakes can happen

Panzers, parsley, soap and the devil!

By Damien Fegan, Information Officer, Queensland Museum Among the numerous objects and specimens on display at Queensland Museum are some with truly extraordinary stories! Today Damien Fegan from the Discovery Centre shares new research on one of his favourite objects on display at the Anzac Legacy Gallery. Mephisto, or more formally, A7V Sturmpanzerwagen (armoured assault vehicle) #506, the only surviving German tank from the First … Continue reading Panzers, parsley, soap and the devil!

Humans of SparkLab – Brandon

Brandon – SparkLab Learning Officer at Queensland Museum Brandon is a scientist, teacher and science communicator with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education from QUT. What first sparked your interest in science? From a young age I have been amazed by living things and the natural world. I enjoyed going on bushwalks with my family, exploring rock pools along the … Continue reading Humans of SparkLab – Brandon

Cobb+Co Museum’s Horse-Drawn Omnibus

By Jeff Powell, Curator Cobb+Co Museum Next time you catch a bus, have a thought for “commuters” of Brisbane in the nineteenth century! Cobb+Co Museum in Toowoomba contains over 50 horse-drawn vehicles, including a horse-drawn omnibus. The museum preserves the history of what was known as the ‘the horse and buggy era’, but we concede that most people could not afford a buggy, nor even … Continue reading Cobb+Co Museum’s Horse-Drawn Omnibus

Tips for finding frogs around your home | World Frog Day

Every year March 20th marks World Frog Day which aims to bring awareness to amphibians across the globe. Frogs occupy every conceivable habitat. In Australia there are over 240 known species of frog, with 105 species found in Queensland. Some frogs are brightly coloured, others drab. There are smooth frogs, warty frogs, skinny frogs, fat frogs, frilled frogs, long-legged frogs, sharp-snouted frogs and many more. … Continue reading Tips for finding frogs around your home | World Frog Day

Brisbane floods at Queensland Museum

Flooding decimated many suburbs, businesses and homes across Brisbane in February 2022. Queensland Museum at South Bank and the Cultural Precinct Centre were closed on Sunday 27 February and will remain closed for 19 days. The recent rain wasn’t unexpected but it was unpredictable. Queensland Museum staff watched and waited in anticipation. Would the falls be larger than the floods of 2011 that closed the … Continue reading Brisbane floods at Queensland Museum

How to preserve a flood-damaged item

The recent weather event and flooding in Queensland and northern New South Wales has sadly destroyed many homes and the personal items they contain including photos, important documents and valuables. All hope is not lost, if you act quickly now you may have a chance of recovering some of this items. While for many the immediate focus will be cleaning out homes, there is a … Continue reading How to preserve a flood-damaged item