Finnish Museum of Natural History
The history of the Earth, the evolution of its life and natural resources, has left its imprints in the bedrock and soil of our planet. Geological Museum researches and showcases these archives and conserves the most important parts of them in the national collections.
Our research focuses on the dynamics of our planet (plate tectonics and volcanism) and the evolution of its life and climate: we seek evidence for the generation of the earliest continents over 2500 million years ago from the bedrock of Finland and untangle the mysteries of volcanic supereruptions that took place on the fracturing continents of Africa and Antarctica in the Jurassic period, c. 200 million years ago. In our paleontological research we map the diversity of life in the ancient tropical “Baltic Sea” 600–400 million years ago.
National collections of geology include c. 50 000 mineral and rock specimens, c. 600 meteorites, and c. 44 000 fossil, bone, and soil specimens. The oldest portions of our collections consist of the mineral specimens contributed by governor general Fabian Steinheil (1762–1831). Other significant contributors of mineral collection include crystallographer A. Gadolin (1828–1892), explorer and mineralogist A.E. Nordenskiöld (1832–1901), and world-renowned geology professor Th.G. Sahama (1910–1983).
Treasures of our fossil collections include the remains of ice age mammals (e.g., cave bear) collected by A. von Nordmann (1803–1866) from Ukraine and central Europe, B Kurtén’s (1924–1988) collections concerning the evolution of primates, and mammoth tusks found from Alaska.
The main exhibition of the Geological museum is on display at the Mineral Cabinet in association with the Helsinki University museum. (Snellmaninkatu 3). In addition, our collections are included in other exhibitions of the Finnish Museum of Natural History. Welcome!
More information on our research