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OUMNH hosting virtual escape room with Steve Backshall

steve backshall mystery at the museum

Oxford University Museum of Natural History (OUMNH) is hosting an online, interactive challenge with presenter Steve Backshall called Mystery at the Museum.

Mystery at the Museum was devised by wildlife presenter and explorer Steve Backshall and escape room creators Agent November, and takes place on December 4.

The virtual attraction, which is free to attend, will take players behind-the-scenes of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Donations will go towards the museum’s HOPE for the Future project, which aims to preserve its 200-year-old entomology collection.

The collection includes more than one million British insects, and is designated as being of national and international importance by Arts Council England.

Players will help solve a series of puzzles to save a missing museum specimen alongside Backshall during the live-streamed puzzle challenge.

Museums reimagine offerings amid COVID-19

Mystery at the Museum is another example of museums reimagining their offerings for larger digital audiences in light of COVID-19.

Backshall said the event is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see behind the scenes at the most atmospheric building in the nation” (via Museums + Heritage Advisor).

The online audience will guide him “around the museum by night, solving puzzles and challenges, using their animal and dinosaur knowledge to help”.

Oxford University Museum of Natural History is temporarily closed to the public, in line with the government’s national lockdown restrictions.

Meanwhile, Swamp Motel is extending its live experience The Mermaid’s Tongue. Tickets are now on sale for the show, which was originally due to close on November 6.

From the team behind interactive detective experience Plymouth Point, The Mermaid’s Tongue incorporates live immersive theatre with escape rooms.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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