University Museum of Bergen

Did you know that...?

May 2009

The hippopotamus sleeps on its feet in the water out of reach of predators.
Light has a limited ability to penetrate water. The deeper the water, the more the colours change. At 25 m depth, blood appears to be green instead of red.
Sword fish can swim at a speed of up to 100km/h. They sometimes collide with boats. In the Whale Hall at the Natural History Collections, a sword penetrating a ship’s side is displayed.

April 2009

The tradition April Fool’s Day is an old custom where the aim is to fool someone on 1 April. The Nordic version of April Fool’s Day comes from the French “donner le poisson d'avril” which means “to give the April fish to somebody”, that is, in all secrecy, trying to pin a paper fish to somebody’s back.
Easter Day falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox, and the date for Easter therefore varies between 22 March and 25 April.
Moses' attribute is a horn on the forehead. This is thought to be a misinterpretation from Hebrew which has no symbols for vowels. The word for shining/radiant has for this reason been interpreted to mean that somebody has horns.

March 2009

An attribute is an object that identifies or recognises a figure or a person. Refers frequently to an object held by a saint.
An arrow made from the mistletoe plant was the only thing that could harm and kill the Norse god Balder.

Coltsfoot (lat. tussilago farfara) has got its name after the shape of its leaves that grow up after blossoming. They resemble a colt’s foot in cross section.

February 2009

The bull elks can have two types of antlers - palmate or twig-like
The five big cats, the lion, tiger, leopard, and the snow leopard may be crossbred in captivity without major problems. The jaguar, on the other hand, can only crossbreed with the lion.
The racoon is said to taste quite well, it is a bit like lamb.

January 2009

Bergen Museum’s founder, Wilhelm Frimann Koren Christie, saw to it that his relatives up north learned how to stuff birds and fish for the Museum’s collections.
Ninety-eight per cent of Bergen Museum’s church art collection is exhibited at the Cultural History Collections.
The building housing the Natural History Collections was completed in 1865 and the building housing the Cultural History Collections was completed in 1927.