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Show Me St. Louis goes 'Inside the Vault,' a new exhibit at the Saint Louis Science Center

The new exhibit is the largest display of collection objects in 30 years at the Saint Louis Science Center

ST. LOUIS — A new exhibit called Inside the Vault is on display in the Planetarium tunnel at the Saint Louis Science Center. It's a unique exhibit featuring many artifacts that have never been on public display until now. There’s an item here more than 1 billion years old. No, that’s not a typo. That’s billion with a 'b'!

Kristina Hampton, Manager of Collections and Special Projects, said, “It highlights 6 individual collections that are part of larger Science Center collections so it has precious artifacts and specimens part of that collection.”

The collections cover fossils, sea shells, lighting, miniatures, elephants, and minerals. These collections from individuals over the years are sure to catch your eye as you’re passing by.

“People are really amazed,” Hampton said.

In fact, this new exhibit is the largest display of collection objects in 30 years here at the Science Center. But now to that item that’s more than 1 billion years old. It is a stromatolite that can be found in the fossil collection.

Hampton said, “Stromatolites are the earliest fossils that we have record of. They help us look at our history, the evolution of the world, the evolution of Missouri and our region for billions of year. This particular one is over a billion years old. How do you… it is just.. to even consider that and to think of that is amazing. Yeah, it’s really amazing. It has those layers there because over time the blue green algae settles. They form into mats on the surface of water and as they fossilize, they form those layers. ”

You can expect Inside the Vault to stick around for a long time. These collections will remain the same all year but will be switched up next year. It is free to visit. For more information, visit slsc.org.

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