CosmoCaixa launches Micràrium, an amazing journey

Lance CosmoCaixa Microriuma new exhibition space, more than 300 square meters, dimensions of astral size if we take into account the fact that what will be permanently exhibited there is the infinitesimal, anything the human eye can’t see except under a microscope. Bacteria balanced on the tip of a pin, the cellulose fibers that weave a 20 euro note, the mold of that orange that spoiled us in the fruit basket, the devilish legs of a louse, so perfectly adapted straight-haired, let alone curly, tardigrades!, with their appearance of candy and, yet, invincible supermen of the animal kingdom… You could say that CosmoCaixa is launching its particular flea circus, but it’s not like that, because contrary to this traveling fair number, pure fantasy, here, under the optics of microscopes of all kinds, what is promised, is a new world. It is, courtesy of Raquel Welch, one hell of a ride.

The name, Micràrium, should not mislead. It’s the microscopic world, yes, but shown in a big way. CosmoCaixa, in constant and interesting renewal for some time, returns to those origins in which the visitor had to manipulate to discover. The flooded forest certainly remains the flagship installation of the museum, but this throne, because it is a space of simple contemplation, is increasingly claimed by other places of this cultural and scientific pole. The giant, interactive globe in the middle of the main hall, for example, is a hypnotic wonder not to be missed, and in the fall nothing less than a Siberian mammoth with all its bones will come to live there, another gem. .

Micràrium is now added to this dispute, where the easy thing would have been to show, as if it were an art gallery, giant photographs of the world of the tiny like those of the biologist Rubén Duro, essential scientific adviser of this new space. . What CosmoCaixa offers is to organize expeditions with groups of up to 30 people that, guided by a specialist (we must congratulate them for their dedication and passion) they invited us to bring the eye closer to the microscope with the same emotion with which the manufacturer of lenses did it in 1590 Zacharie Janssen, father of the invention. He must have been dazed. The shock continues.

It is, put to the test during the presentation of the Micràrium, what is said in the title, an amazing journey. 1966 (allow digression) was the year Raquel Welch became a myth. His name appeared on the posters of two films of those who marked childhoods, ‘A Million Years Ago’, a film which argued that dinosaurs and bikinis were contemporary (to avoid misunderstandings, the two succinct pieces were carried by her, not a diplodocus) and, here’s the thing, “Amazing Voyage,” an adventure in which a team of scientists and a submarine are miniaturized to microscopic size to save a scientist’s life. For medical purposes, they literally enter the blood of a comatose scientist played by actor Jean del Val, who could possibly boast of the last nine years of his life that Raquel Welch was literally in his heart.

In Micràrium there are no expeditions through the circulatory system (who knows if in the future…), but CosmoCaixa, as a travel agency with a destination for toddlers, now offers four trips of great interest which she baptized with evocative names: Kosmos, Frontier, Evolution 1, Evolution 2. The name is granted by what is observed. In the first lab it is possible to dive into the mineral world, even extraterrestrial, because they have at the disposal of the public fragments of even precious meteorites. But what is interesting is to bring samples from home. Better yet, from the beach. A handful of sand can bring big surprises. If it comes from an authentic beach, tiny single-celled fossils will appear there, among the grains of all colors. If it’s one of the Barcelona ones, who knows.

The Frontera space takes nothing away from the previous one. It invites you to examine man-made materials on a microscopic scale, phone screen pixel, velcro, Gucci cotton, even if it’s just to confirm that it’s not much different from panties in a market…

But there is nothing to prepare for what the immersion in the two evolutionary spaces supposes. Putting a drop of water taken from a flooded forest under the magnifying glass of a microscope suddenly turns into one of Truman’s “shows” on ciliated nematodes and protozoa who carry out their vital functions without realizing that they are seen at this precise moment by gigantic beings. To say that it is the mark is to fall short.

The good thing about Micràrium (an excellent proposal to travel at Easter without leaving Barcelona) is that it is not a closed tourist package, in which the visits are decided by the guide. Putting your own skin under the microscope is almost compulsory, but every school visit there will be, there will surely be a child with a knee or elbow injuryYes An opportunity like this should not be missed..

The management of CosmoCaixa assures that there is no space like this in all of Europe. Due to its characteristics, it may even be unique in the world. It is, plain and simple, amazing.

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