The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a science museum in Houston, Texas. It was started in 1909 and is one of the most popular museums in the U.S., attracting more than 1,000,000 people per year. This was a very famous museum in the time of people, but how long will it last without them?
2 days after people: The electricity fails in Houston, plunging the museum into darkness. In the Cockrell Butterfly Center, butterflies flutter happily through the air, at least for now. The IMAX theatre sits quietly waiting for patrons that will never come.
1 week after people: The butterflies are dying. Houston summers can get up to 100 degrees and the butterfly exhibit is built like a giant greenhouse, raising the heat. Without humans to feed them and heat exceeding 120 degrees, the butterflies die.
1 year after people: Plants from the surrounding Hermann Park are infiltrating the museum. Vines are starting to climb the walls on the outside. The first signs of corrosion are showing on the outside steel beams.
5 years after people: Posters advertising exhibits and movies are decaying. The first windows are breaking, allowing debris and animals in. In the hall of taxidermy, the airtight seals of the cases have failed and the animals, including the only forest giraffes on display in the U.S., are vunerable to the elements.
10 years after people: A severe thunderstorm is rolling into Houston. The storm hits the museum head on and hail and wind shatter some windows in the butterfly exhibit and skylights over the dinosaur skeletons. For now, the museum is holding up, but parts of the museum are failing faster than others.
25 years after people: The butterfly exhibit is just an empty steel frame. Where tropical plants and creatures once lived, now is home to squirrels and oak trees. In the taxidermy exhibit, the fur on the animals is starting to slowly decay. Fur is made of keratin, a type of protein, so bacteria can digest it, but it is very hard to decompose, so the animals will survive, for now.
50 years after people: The skeletons of the dinosaurs are being attacked by pyrite disease. The famous diplodicus skeleton cracks and falls to the floor. The other fossils follow soon after. At the butterfly exhibit, the rusting frame of the exhibit is about to fall. Humidity and rain have assaulted the exhibit for decades. It only takes a strong breeze to bring the frame down.
100 years after people: Even during the time of humans, hurricanes were a problem. Now, a hurricane is going to hit Houston again. The category 4 storm ravages the city. Winds of 145 miles per hour barrel through Hermann Park. The remaining glass is blasted throughtout the building, damaging the museum further. The theatre is no match for the storm and collapses. Sections of the roof of the museum are ripped off, allowing the winds to inundate the building. The winds finally cause the remaining roof to crush the museum and demolish the museum.