Press Release: Live bug zoo coming to the Field this summer in Fantastic Bug Encounters!

March 11, 2019 Exhibition

Comunicado de prensa también disponible en español.

All around us, bugs, such as insects and spiders have built an amazing world that we rarely notice. They can camouflage themselves as flowers, communicate with flashing lights, and even perform “brain surgery” to turn their prey into zombies. This summer, the Field Museum will give visitors a peek into this hidden world with the new exhibition Fantastic Bug Encounters!, opening June 28, 2019. In this hands-on experience, visitors will discover how bugs’ incredible adaptations are changing the world through interactives, larger-than-life models, and a bug zoo where visitors will be able to see (and even hold) live bugs from all over the planet.

"Bugs are weird, beautiful, and fascinating creatures, and we're proud to be able to share them with visitors of all ages in Fantastic Bug Encounters!" says Jaap Hoogstraten, Field Museum Exhibitions Director. "This exhibition is full of gorgeous larger-than-life models that show what these animals look like close-up and how they've perfectly adapted to the world around them—our visitors will never look at bugs the same way again."

“Behind the scenes, the Field Museum has a collection of 17 million insects, spiders, and the many-legged millipedes and centipedes that our scientists use in their research—there are more insects in our collections than the number of people living in Illinois,” says Petra Sierwald Field Museum Associate Curator. “There’s so much we have learned and so much more to learn about these critters that live among us, so we’re excited to highlight them through immersive, multisensory storytelling in this exhibition.”

Museum visitors will enter the world of bugs through large-scale, colorful models. The exhibition is built around four immersive chambers, where visitors experience the incredible talents of extraordinary insects. Hands-on interactive experiences let visitors test their reflexes, perform bug brain surgery, and fly their own origami butterflies in a wind tunnel. And bug enthusiasts will get to meet Field Museum scientists and their bugs in a one-of-kind bug zoo that features a dozen live bug species visitors can learn about and even touch.

“The exhibition is packed with fascinating science content, looking at how humans are adapting bug technology: from drones inspired by the humble housefly, to spider venom being used to treat cancer,” says Sir Richard Taylor, who co-created the exhibition with New Zealand’s Te Papa museum and co-founded the Weta Workshop, a five-time Academy Award-winning film studio. “For 450 million years, bugs have been getting smarter. From brain surgery to teamwork to the power of flight – they really can do it all. Now they’re sharing their genius to help humans make the world a better place.”

The exhibition, presented in both English and Spanish, is included with an All Access pass to the Field Museum and will run through April 19, 2020. Fantastic Bug Encounters! was created by New Zealand’s world-famous museum Te Papa, working with five-time Academy Award-winning studio Weta Workshop. Discover and United are proud major sponsors of Fantastic Bug Encounters! Please visit for exhibition updates.