County Road 11: Dunn-Seiler Museum at MSU

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTOK) -- We spotlight a museum on the Mississippi State University campus in the Department of Geosciences that take visitors back millions of years on this week's County Road 11.

(Photo Source: WTOK-TV)

The Dunn-Seiler Museum houses an extensive mineral, rock and fossil collections that help visitors get an idea of what the earth could have looked like thousands and even millions of years ago.

"They're drawn in by such a big, glorious looking thing, and then they start looking at the cabinets and they see a lot of things that they might not have seen before," said Amy Moe Hoffman, the chairperson for - Mississippi State's Museums & Galleries Committee. "Fossils and organisms that don't exist anymore that is really different from what we have today."

Some of the displays feature bones of large animals and skulls of cretaceous crocodiles that used to inhabit what is now Mississippi--much of which was underwater during those times.

"That would be about the last Ice Age and just before that," said Hoffman. "Things like elephants, elephant relatives like the mammoth and the mastodon and gomphothere roaming here."

One of the top attractions at the museum is a virtual reality sandbox where visitors can create different shapes in the sand to represent the various forms of earth.

"We've made a volcano now. We can also make it rain in the volcano if I move my fingers over it and you can see the water running down to its lowest point," said Hoffman. "Maybe I'll put some more in there, and if I'm lucky, we'll get some rain."

"Then you can see how it would flow if the side of the volcano is eroded away, and you can watch the water flow down hill," said Hoffman.

The Dunn-Seiler Museum on the MSU campus links modern day Mississippi to its prehistoric past. It's a Mississippi geology lesson millions of years in the making, but providing lots of things you can learn in only a few minutes.

The Dunn-Seiler museum is located in Hilbun Hall on the Starkville campus.

For more information, you can call (662) 325-3915, or visit the www.museums.msstate.edu.