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Rio's Museum of Tomorrow Illustrates Humans' Impact on the Earth

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Rio de Janeiro's newest attraction, Museu do Amanhã, or the Museum of Tomorrow, opened to the public Saturday. The $54 million museum focuses on the relationship between human activity and environmental health. Exhibits cover hot topics in science and technology, ranging from the cosmic origins of life on Earth to humanity's role in climate change.

Rio de Janeiro's newest attraction, Museu do Amanhã, or the Museum of Tomorrow, opened to the public Saturday. Photo credit: PR

"If we have different choices, different tomorrows are going to be built," Leonardo Menezes, the museum's content manager, told NPR reporter Lourdes Garcia-Navarro. "Are those going to be sustainable or not? It's up to us."

In one exhibit, museum-goers can enter a virtual reality time machine to watch the evolution of man. Another features large totems inspired by Stonehenge that are covered in "startling" statistics and "jarring" images of the environment, Garcia-Navarro reported. She visited the museum, calling it an "emotional journey," one that dives deep into human history and our impact on the Earth.

Lauded for making waves in sustainable architecture, the building uses 40 percent less energy, with 9 percent of that total being derived from solar panels that move throughout the day to garner as much power as possible. It's cooled using deep water from nearby Guanabara Bay. And the museum is pursuing LEED Platinum certification, the highest status available, which is pending approval from the Green Building Council of Brazil.

Listen to the full NPR report here:

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