Encyclopaedia of  Wondrous Objects

Your dose of awe and wonder from our encyclopaedic collection of over 4.5 million objects

The Yellow-eyed Leaf Frog

The Yellow-eyed Leaf Frog (Agalychnis annae) is an endangered species found only around San Jose, Costa Rica. It is part of the official captive breeding programme in the Vivarium Manchester Museum which aims ensure the species' survival. #WorldAnimalDay

https://frogblogmanchester.com

 

 

These beautiful nocturnal frogs sleep during the day and are active at night. This species was once common in Costa Rica. However numbers have declined and now they are only found in a few places.

https://frogblogmanchester.com/2014/06/10/annae-and-eye/ 

 

 

These frogs grow to an adult size of up to 85mm and eat insects. They reproduce by laying their eggs on leaves overhanging water, and when the tadpoles hatch they drop into the water below to continue their development.

https://frogblogmanchester.com/2018/10/19/choosing-a-climate/

 

 

Our Vivarium team are doing fantastic work, not only for conservation of species, but also to increase awareness and education. Today we a celebrating #WorldAnimalDay which aims help make the world a fairer place for all animals. Find out more here: www.worldanimalday.org.uk 

‘The Blue Book’
00:06

‘The Blue Book’

In 1880, a botanist called Herbert Dobbie produced something known as ‘The Blue Book’. Bleached into the blue pages were a series of ghostly white silhouettes, eternal imprints in time of what Dante might have believed to be a close-up of an angel’s wing. Treasure, from the pirate stories of olde, has always been gold and silver. Never has it been blue. This made it all the more surprising when, beneath the dusty pages, I spotted something rather peculiar” writes PhD student James Dowling. https://herbologymanchester.wordpress.com/2020/01/22/rare-blue-treasure-found-in-manchester-museum-herbarium/ James discovered this treasure when searching for ‘interesting’ things in the Herbarium, and along with Rachel Webster, Curator of Botany, did some research and found a paper describing this book in detail. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/0028825X.1989.10414116  It was made using ‘the blue-print system’ which involves exposing sensitised mounting paper to sunlight, then washing with potassium bichromate, leaving the characteristic white-on-blue visual effect.  The amount of labour that went into making one ‘Blue Book’ was enormous, there probably weren’t many of these made. In fact, only 15 copies are known to have survived (including this discovery), 11 of which are in New Zealand libraries.  The unique visual qualities of ferns attract many unique methods of display. This is another artistic presentation using screen printing by one of Manchester University’s Contemporary Photography students.  https://herbologymanchester.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/contemporary-photography-ferns-2/ 
Paper Cranes
00:06

Paper Cranes

​Paper Cranes Displayed in the Peace case in our Living Worlds gallery is a piece of rubble from Hiroshima atomic blast, alongside a Demoiselle crane, surrounded by origami paper cranes. The case tells a story of peace. The paper cranes represent those folded by Sadako a young girl who contracted leukaemia after the bombing in Hiroshima. You can find out more about the story of Sadako at the Peace Museum. Like rainbows, cranes are a sign of hope. You can find out how to fold your own paper crane by watching this video. ​ Over the past few years Manchester Museum has been honoured to host Manchester City Council’s annual commemoration ceremony for Hiroshima and Nagasaki and civilian victims of war and terrorism. And today our commemoration is taking place online. Manchester is a proud member of Mayors for Peace. Project G is an initiative in which Ginko tree seedlings from Hiroshima have been planted in schools, universities and hospitals around Manchester. You can find out about Manchester’s peace trail here. On 21 September 2019 McrMuseum celebrated International Peace Day as part of our programme of events for our exhibition Jalllianwala Bagh 1919; Punjab Under Siege. Our partners @PartitionMuseum created cloth marigolds to be worn in remembrance. The Demoiselle crane also has a remarkable life - its migration journey is one of the toughest in the world. You can find out more about how the crane has inspired literature and poetry throughout South Asia & their migration here.