The Rock Fossils exhibition explores the link between music and palaeontology
What do a hermit crab and Michael Jackson have in common?
No, it’s not the start of a bad joke... the mesoparapylocheles michaeljacksoni is a type of hermit crab fossil named after the “King of Pop” himself, since it was discovered by a Kent State University researcher the same day Michael Jackson passed away.
There is, in fact, more in common between rocks and rock ‘n’ roll than just their names. And this is what the Rock Fossils exhibition, co-organised by the National Museum of Natural History (MNHN) and Neimënster, will explore: the link between music and palaeontology.
According to Robert Weis, who works in the paleontological department at the MNHN, the general public might not know this, but “a lot of new species [of fossils] are dedicated to bands, including, of course, The Rolling Stones.”
The exhibition--which kicks off on on 7 June at Neimënster with a free concert by the symphonic metal group, Elysian Gates--runs through 9 September. Visitors can explore scores of curious fossils in the vaulted cellar at Neimënster, or attend a number of free concerts, workshops and conferences. In a 29 June workshop with singer and illustrator Françoiz Breut, for example, participants are invited to create imaginary marine organisms and produce a sort of pseudoscience booklet.
“Marine biology and preservation of marine ecosystems will also be an important aspect, as almost all presented fossils are marine organisms and witness of ancient ecosystems, teaching us important lessons for the future of ecosystems,” Weis adds.