National Geographic “Weird but true” is a permanent addition to the Cloud forest conservatory at the Singapore Gardens by the bay. It is a children-themed learning exhibition with a botanical and horticulture theme of the gardens. Let’s check it out with a walkthrough.

Welcome to the Weird but True exhibition Cloud forest Gardens by the Bay
Welcome to the Weird but True exhibition Cloud forest Gardens by the Bay.

Furthermore, “Weird but true” it is tad a throwback to the true or fiction likes of Ripley’s believe it or not. Led by the National Geographic kids and is synonymous with their published range of children books on the similar topic.

Overview of the Weird but True exhibition which now resides at the crystal mountain  event space at the Cloud forest Gardens by the Bay
Overview of the Weird but True exhibition which now resides at the crystal mountain event space at the Cloud forest Gardens by the Bay.

Moreover, the permanent educational exhibition sits in the events area in the Crystal Mountain at the Level 4 inside the main structure of the Cloud Forest building. Notably, the conservatory mimics the cool highland tropical climates of the South-Asian regions, like Indonesia and Malaysia. Also, you do need to pay the regular cloud forest conservatory entrance to enter this sector.

Welcome to the cloud forest with a spectacular misting
Welcome to the cloud forest with a spectacular misting going on.

Bizarre facts of nature

You enter and start the exhibition via entering a gateway comprising of 4 lit rectangles resembling the national geographic logo. It plunges you into the fascinating worlds of the plant and animal kingdom in latest “Weird but True” exhibition. The exhibits revolve about starting from a bizarre fact of nature.

Though the Golden arches at the entrance of the exhibition sector
Though the Golden arches at the entrance of the exhibition sector.

Moreover, the exhibits have a teaching vibe to it. It seeks to entertain you as well as to educate. The displays here are tad like a curation of the plant exhibits similarly seen within the cloud forest secret garden section in the building’s basement.

Additionally, interestingly, going with the botanical and horticulture theme of the gardens, you can find on display curated selection of carnivorous plants. Such as Pitcher plans and Venus fly traps native to South East Asia here. Also, you can also find similarly these plants at the roof top Lost World section of the building. Also, here, you can find a variety of various orchid species.

Carnivorous plants section housed in open enclosures. Such as this Pitcher plant enclosure
Carnivorous plants section housed in open enclosures. Such as this Pitcher plant enclosure.

The Nat Geo displays allows you to wander through the exhibition set at your own time. This is all within the lush tropics of Cloud Forest, while discovering incredible fun facts. Packed with visually stunning photos and colourful graphics, it’s going to be a wild ride like no other.

A great place for kids

Furthermore, it teaches about facts of the human body and the environment. Examples include humans blinking 14,000 times a day, and half the world’s population living in places which never snows. It is tad like a mini science center learning area.

On the ground with several interactive and kid-friendly areas with educational facts
On the ground with several interactive and kid-friendly areas with educational facts.

Moreover, the galleries in the nutshell has an open concept and is free roaming, allowing you to explore the various exhibits in no particular order.

Facts sheets
Points of interest
Exploring

Additionally, the grounds previously house the precious gems exhibit Starlight. The heart of the mountain is permanent exhibition space, housing the “underground jewels”, a Paleobiology display. Here, you can find a variety of harvested stalactite, lime stone and crystal bodies. These are typically found in tropical underground caves are showcased here.

Also, the floor here leads onto the tree top walkway. The walkway is connected via this tree top level forest canopy walk encircling the outer perimeter of the cloud forest. Strangely, the smoothing ambient music during the misting process does not seem to be playing on my visit.

Smaller stalagmites exhibit

The stalactites displays now take a more backstage role on the 4th floor galleries now
The stalactites displays now take a more backstage role on the 4th floor galleries now.

Furthermore, the 4th floor Crystal Mountain open space here used to house a stalactite and stalagmites exhibit. The stalactites are an icicle-shaped formation that hangs from the ceiling of a cave. These natural features were naturally produced by precipitation of minerals. Form from slow dripping of limestone imbued water from natural cave ceilings. Also, there are rows of stalagmites columns now re-arranged on the outer perimeter of the exhibition space. This is presumably to make way for this Nat Geo “Weird but true” permanent addition.

Kids focus
Venus flytraps
Orchids

Also, following down into the cloud forest basement is a a familiar route through educational spaces touching on global warming. This includes info graphics as well as the 1.5 degree short film before leading out into the basement secret garden to complete your journey.

All in all, National Geographic “Weird but true” is a nice refresh to the now dated Crystal Mountain space. The stalactite had been around for almost 10 years. Do check out the National Geographic kids exhibition when you are at the Cloud forest at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.

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