Author Archives: Natasha David

Magic visits the Natural History Museum in London

What do a manatee and a mermaid have in common? You can learn about their case of mistaken identity with the help of the Natural History Museum and Google Arts & Culture.  From unicorns to dragons, and flying snakes to shrinking lizards, mythical creatures are being united with their real-world cousins in a new project by London’s Natural History Museum, brought online for all to explore. With inspiration from the magical world of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the new exhibition and online highlights allow fans everywhere to discover the links between the real and the imagined.

Take a virtual stroll around and explore the installation in 360 degrees. The project shows off the real-life “magic” of the natural world: the incredible behaviors, traits and features that have evolved, enabling animals to survive and thrive in the wild. The exhibition also reveals some of the biggest threats they face, and hopes to inspire everyone to help save precious natural habitats and their residents.

There are20 new digital stories to explore, created with artifacts, specimens and videos selected with the help of some of the 300 scientists and curators from the Museum. They tell us fascinating tales about the complexity, wonder and fragility of the natural world. Find over 100 incredible specimens from the Natural History Museum collection, including the inquisitive pangolin and the vibrant creatures of the reef.  You’ll also find incredible artifacts from the Fantastic Beasts films, including tools used to capture and care for magical beasts.

Once you’ve learned about a mystery skull from the 1330s or a species of shrinking lizards, have some fun by challenging your friends to a multiplayer puzzle party,or create your own mythical beast with specially designed coloring books. 

Explore the magic at online and with the Google Arts & Culture app for Android or iOS.

Google Arts and Culture brings Europe’s largest street festival online

Europe's largest annual street festival, held in the Notting Hill neighborhood of London, has taken place every year since the 1960’s. For the first time ever, this year’s edition will take place online and in people’s living rooms. But celebrating from our homes doesn’t mean any less Carnival spirit—and in fact the new format means people from around the world can join.

For 2020, Notting Hill Carnival organizers are bringing the spirit online throughout the weekend. Just in time for the bank holiday weekend, people around the world can experience Notting Hill Carnival on live streams and discover some of the history behind the event. From August 29 through August 31, the live streams will be available on YouTube as well as throughGoogle Arts & Culture.

To accompany live streaming music, dance performances and DJ sets, you can now explore more of the story behind Carnival and its roots on Google Arts & Culture. Find out about the elements that form the basis of Carnival every year, from steel drums to sound systems, and meet some of the people who work year-round to bring the performances together. Allyson Williams MBE is a former NHS nurse and band leader who would have been celebrating 40 years of performing at the 2020 event. And historian and Carnival ambassadorFiona Compton shares the origins of jerk chicken and steel pan drums. Both Carnival regulars will be participating in this year’s new online format.

Alongside the Notting Hill Carnival collection, photographer Misan Harriman has released a series of over 200 photographstaken at the 2019 edition of Carnival. The Last Dance is a stunning series of portraits showcasing carefree carnival-goersin the streets of Notting Hill. A poignant sight in the context of current restrictions that prevent communities coming togetherin such numbers.

Whatever your plans are to mark Carnival weekend, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Dive into the Carnival collection at and watch the live stream on YouTube over the weekend.