Museum of the North #UAF

Friday was the last day of our friend’s visit to Fairbanks. After their sixth night here, we decided we should probably do something “touristy,” and took them to the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Museum of the North.

It’s been years since I’ve actually gone through the displays. The last time I was in the building was when I was taken downstairs for a genetics class, and my class got to see all the taxidermied animals not on display.

This time, I was pure tourist. Granted, I looked through things a lot faster than I would have if I hadn’t seen them all before, in multiple different displays.

Regardless, it was fun to see Otto the Brown Bear, who has greeted tourists at UAF Museum since the ’80’s. I remember him when I was growing up!


Selfie with Otto!


Blue Babe, the Steppe Bison. Found in the summer of 1979, it has a bluish tint due to the phosphorus in the animal tissue reacting with iron in the soil, producing a coating of vivianite that became a brilliant blue when exposed to air. Thus it was nicknamed Blue Babe after Paul Bunyan’s ox.


Fairbanks High School Diploma, 1917, written on moosehide.


Taxidermied Polar Bear and Seals.


Ivory and baleen Native Alaskan carving.


An animal hide canoe.


I won’t be putting one of these in my house anytime soon, but it’s definitely unique!


The tour isn’t complete until you see the beautiful sun out the window of the Museum of the North.


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