Location: The Extraterrestrial Collection at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Featured guests: Bonnie Isaac, director of The Extraterrestrial Collection

3 things that surprised me:

1. The collection dates back to 1915 when Andrew Carnegie heard about an alien spacecraft going up for auction in New Mexico. That piece was the beginning of the museum’s Extraterrestrial Collection.

2. Bonnie explained that there are more than 700,000 objects in the collection. While some of the objects are as big as a VW bug, other objects are nearly microscopic pieces of unidentifiable metals.

3. Seven U.S. presidents have visited the special collection in Oakland, though Bonnie was not at liberty to tell us which ones. She says she’s met three of them though.

One thing that didn’t make the final cut: A few objects in the collection had initially been misidentified as extraterrestrial and turned out to be Australian snails. Tim Pearce, head of the museum’s mollusk collection, was able to correct that mistake a few years ago.

Additional info: Oh, did we mention that it’s April Fool’s Day? But the Carnegie Museum of Natural History is very real and Bonnie Isaac is actually the manager of its botany collection.

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