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Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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The whale warehouse

7 minutes

The sprawling, stinking marvels of a natural history museum’s specimens

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County’s so-called ‘whale warehouse’ is easy to miss: from the outside, it’s a nondescript industrial building down the street from a meatpacking plant. But the collection of large mammal bones within – including enormous whale skulls and skeletons too massive to fit on shelves – is one of the biggest of its kind in the world. Exploring the reasons we hoard things, the specifics of the museum’s collection, and the ways in which the collection is used for research, The Whale Warehouse draws fascinating links between the psychology of collecting and the pursuit of knowledge.

Producer: Mae Ryan, Grant Slater

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

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