Estonian Museum of Natural History brakes myths at the Estonian biggest lichen and moss exhibition

06. April 2016

On April 7 the Estonian Museum of Natural History opens an exhibition „The Bold and the Beautiful. Starred by: lichen and moss“. The new exhibition introduces the extraordinary endurance and the often underestimates value to ecosystem and to people that lichen and moss have.

The main focus of the exhibition is on the unusual strength of the lichens and mosses. “Lichens and mosses have habited the Earth for more than 450 million years, they can stand up to extreme temperature and freezing, burning heath and strong sunlight and complete drying out,” says one of the curators, Marja-Liisa Kämärä. “These extraordinary creatures can even survive in the outer space!”

 

The exhibition gives a thorough overview of the nature, habitat, way of life and importance to the ecosystem that lichens and mosses have. Even more, the exhibition takes a look at the fields where lichens and mosses can be used to serve peoples interest, like pharmacy, cooking and art. “Lichens are very good indicators of clean air,” brings Kämärä out. “They are responsive to air pollution and that’s why we do not see them in city’s much,” she adds.

“With the exhibition we hope to brake many myths,” the curators Marja-Liisa Kämärä and Loore Ehrlich say. “People often think that lichens and mosses are annoying, they are compared to weeds,” says Ehrlich. “But actually lichens and mosses have been used in very different ways throughout history. For instance in curing health problems and parfume making,” she adds.

„The Bold and the Beautiful. Starred by: lichen and moss“ is the biggest and most thorough exhibition to introduce lichens, that has been held in Estonia. There are many interactivities in the exhibition hall: visitors can look at lichen’s structure under a microscope, get to know colorful lichens across the world, see, what happens to lichens under a UV-light, and much more. The ones feeling tired can take a break and lay down on a real moss-bed. 

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