Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Opinion: Coats That Borrow | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Despite the increase in the population of the world, it remains small because it unites friends, families, acquaintances and memories. However, scientists are always researching about the wondrous world that we live in without us realising. One scientist discovers the particles of an atom and another discovers how to measure the size of human cells that cannot be seen. Others are discovering extra planets from time to time with the help of excellent microscopes.

Some of these scientists went to the Amazon jungle in search of species of birds and insects, and some of them travelled to the depths of the sea to photograph and record the millions of different types of sea creatures that are able to live at the bottom of the sea. One of these scientists spent 42 years researching a plant so that he could present the results of the study to the Natural History Museum in London. The walls of this museum are covered with more than 80 million types of embalmed animals, insects and reptiles brought in from around the world.

One scientist who always visited the museum was the author of the book “Birds of Arabia”, Richard Meinertzhagen. He would never take his wide and long coats off whilst working and researching at the museum, even in the height of summer. After his death, he graciously donated all the natural collections and models to the museum as a gesture of loyalty. When employees of the museum proceeded to open the boxes and classify what was in them, they discovered treasures and the secret of the wide and long coat! Meinertzhagen used to hide models that he used to steal from the museum underneath his coat and take them back to his house so that he could study them carefully.

Scientists research different things. Some spend their lives in laboratories in search of treatment for epidemics and diseases. Others are not satisfied with the steamboats, trains and cars that have been invented and have decided to break the sound barrier and send vehicles to photograph the surface of Mars and Jupiter.

Are we are alone on this planet or are there creatures on other planets? Tales of flying saucers have enriched the imaginations of the curious and many films depict the arrival of people from space and their return to where they came from. And, of course, we do not know where they arrived and where they came from.

We still do not know the extent to which we are ignorant about natural science that has not been discovered. Scientists are constantly discovering new things; a new species of trees in the mountains of Kenya, reptiles in the Nevada desert and algae in the British countryside. One scientist collected 750,000 species of algae during his trips in Britain alone. The British Natural History Museum is expanding and becoming richer, and stolen items are hidden underneath coats.