Last week I discovered something I never knew I wanted: a museum of the underground. The Museonder, inside the Hoge Veluwe National Park, is the world’s first museum dedicated entirely to the underground.

On the ground floor you see familiar forests sights, like trees and the wildlife all around. Then, through a downward tunnel with the accompanying words “abandon all hope, ye who enter”, you descend into the fascinating and terrifying underworld.

All around is death and life. You can walk atop the vitrines that show the bones of the mammoths that used to roam de Veluwe, as well as the impressive horns of all the animals from past and present. Inside glass cases are the creepies that crawl around today. A window wall shows the cycle of a fallen acorn becoming into a tree; on the lowest floor, thanks to a spectacular glass play, the very center of Earth’s bubbling lava.

The real standout were small circular windows on the ground through which you can only peer with one eye at what happens below – it feels like looking inside an intimate private home. A worm being eaten, a family of foxes inside their hole, a dead mouse in the final stages of decay, hamsters cuddling for warmth, or an owl protecting its eggs, staring right back up to you from the dark below.

De Hoge Veluwe National Park
Otterlo, the Netherlands


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