Your Favorites: Top 10 Videos of 2010!

It seems like just yesterday we were wrapping up the 100th anniversary of the Museum’s founding in 1909 – and here we are already, at the end of 2010. We had some big news this year – from a big, stinky flower to the discovery of a new, rare fossil that’s set to go on display in a brand new paleontology hall in 2012 (which just goes to show, there’s always something to look forward to).

Here’s a look back at the biggest stories of the year!

Some caveats:

The list was created based on stats from Vimeo, the site we use to host the videos played at hmns.org and on our blog. We also post videos at YouTube and occasionally on Flickr, but those stats aren’t counted here, since the rankings are similar.

Stats cited were pulled on Dec. 14, but we trust that year-end interest in what’s already posted won’t change the ranking too much.

Videos posted at the beginning of 2010 (such as the videos related to the Magic exhibit) have had most of the year to acquire views. Videos posted towards the end – like our announcement of the Dimetrodon fossil our paleo team discovered in late November (which also made the cover of the Houston Chronicle!) – should indicate a level of interest far greater than the actual ranking since the views were accrued over a much shorter time period.

Without further adieu, here are the top 10 videos of 2010! (If you can’t see the videos in-page, you can click the title links to visit the Vimeo page for each.)

1. Lois the Corpse Flower [The Series]
Posted July 6 – 23 | 57,471 views

So, Lois the Corpse Flower was kiiind of a big deal here at HMNS over the summer. And as such, videos related to Lois – counted individually – made up most of the top 10 (#s 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 & 8). Since listing them in this order would make for more of a “Lois recap” than a post that gives a good idea of what people were most interested in this year, I decided to lump them all together. You can see all 8 of them at the links above; I’ve also included a few of my favorites embedded below.

The first video we posted about Lois was also by far the most popular,
with 22,100 views since July 6 making it the official #2 on this list.

And who could forget:

A song for Lois! Written and performed by Kelsey Williams,
one of the museum’s summer Ecoteen volunteers.

2. Magic! at HMNS
Posted Feb. 5 | 25,100 views

Developed by HMNS and on display from Feb. 26 – Sept. 26, the Magic! exhibit featured authentic artifacts from Robert Houdin, Harry Houdini and other famous historical magicians – plus live performances from contemporary magicians.

My favorite part was the exhibit design itself, which cleverly created a magical atmosphere through special touches like cases that float in mid-air. Your favorite part was, apparently, this video – which, when the Lois videos are not counted together, comes it at #1 for 2010.

Don’t want the magic to end? Never fear: check out our magic blog series.

3. Genetics of the Silk Road Mummies
Posted Aug. 17 | 6,485 views

Our Silk Road exhibit features two astonishingly well-preserved mummies that both died along this passage thousands of years before scholars originally believed the route was in common use.

In this video our curator of anthropology explores the genetic research performed on mummies from the silk road which resulted in an even bigger surprise.

It’s not too late to see the Silk Road mummies for yourself:
Secrets of the Silk Road is on display at HMNS through Jan. 2, 2011.

Get in-depth information about the Silk Road exhibit, as well as the latest discoveries, in our Silk Road blog series.

4. Plant Sale! At the HMNS Greenhouses
Posted March 24 | 3,500 views

Twice a year, our Cockrell Butterfly Center staff empty out our greenhouses and host a plant sale where aspiring butterfly gardeners can get host and nectar plants for their home gardens – and learn the best ways to attract butterflies to their yard. Along the way to a flutter-filled garden, they create crucial habitat for local Houston butterflies.

Get a peek into these events in the video below with Nancy Greig, director of the butterfly center.

Want to see more? Check out our Flickr set of photos from a recent Plant Sale.

Inspired? Come to our next plant sale event!

5. Rare, Nearly Complete Dimetrodon Found
Posted Dec. 3 | 3,273 views

Our Paleontology team, led by Dr. Robert Bakker, has been excavating a famous red beds fossil site for the past several dig seasons. They’ve found many fascinating fossils and uncovered reams of new data about how creatures like Dimetrodon – the T. rex of it’s pre-dinosaur time – and Xenacanthus, a prehistoric shark, lived.

At the end of November, they hit the mother lode: an articulated, almost complete Dimetodon giganhomogenes. It’s exceedingly rare to find such a well-preserved specimen – you can get a sneak peek below – see it unearthed and in person when it goes on display in our new paleontology hall in 2012!

Follow the team’s progress in the blog’s Paleontology section.

6. Richard Hatch: Cups and Balls [Magic Exhibit]
Posted Feb. 10 | 2,870 views

The best part about the Magic exhibit was the live performances – and if you were lucky, you caught Richard Hatch working with his specialty, the cups and balls (the world’s oldest illusion). In case you weren’t lucky, we caught it on tape, below.

Missed the Magic exhibit? Check out our Flickr set.

7. Archaeopteryx: Tour the Exhibit with Pete Larson
Posted June 7 | 2,205 views

Archaeopteryx is the earliest bird known to science – and it’s a classic example of an evolutionary link between two groups of animals, first discovered just two years after Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution in 1859. Pete Larson led the team that excavated Sue, the most complete fossil T. rex yet found, making him one of the world’s most famous paleontologists.

Put them together, and you get a pretty fascinating video. Walk through this stunning paleontology exhibit with Pete in the video below.

Want more? Read all about Archaeopteryx – and the world this animal inhabited 150 million years ago – on the HMNS blog or, see more videos with Pete in our Archaeopteryx album on Vimeo.

8. The Principles of Magic
Posted Feb. 5 | 2,047 views

Watch closely as Scott Cervine, visiting curator for our Magic! exhibition, reveals the Principles of Magic.

9. John Carney: The Invisible Coins [Magic Exhibit]
Posted Feb. 10 | 2,038 views

Where did they go?

10. Lois: The Documentary [Preview]
Posted Sept. 10 | 1,281 views

From the non-stop webcam coverage to the crowds here to see Lois around the clock to the weddings taking place at the height of Lois’ bloom and the “mystery tweeter” behind @CorpzFlowrLois – this summer was an extraordinary one for the Museum, and we created a documentary to capture the madness. Preview it below – you can purchase the full version online or in the Museum Store. All proceeds benefit HMNS Educational programs!

So, that’s the Top 10 of 2010! We can’t wait to see what the new year brings – we hope you’ll stick around and share it with us. Happy New Year!

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