Google Has Made a Massive Online Museum of Human Achievement

By Holly Brockwell on at

Google's Arts & Culture arm has unveiled an enormous online exhibition of human discovery and invention called Once Upon a Try.

Working with 110 partners across 23 countries including NASA and CERN as well as good old Blighty's Science Museum and Bletchley Park, the exhibition features 200,000 artifacts (!) and lots of fancypants Google tech to bring them to life.

You could basically live in this thing. It's huge. Google has clearly been working on this for a long time, but maybe they should have staggered the launch a bit, it's quite overwhelming.

Attractions include:

  • An archive of 127,000 NASA images put together into a 'Visual Universe' with machine learning
  • A 360-degree AR experience of the Big Bang narrated by Tilda Swinton
  • 100 high-res notes and letters by Albert Einstein, put online for the first time
  • Google Street View of the International Space Station and the Large Hadron Collider
  • A VR tour of the Space Shuttle Discovery
  • 350 exhibits and video explainers of the most important inventions in human history, "from the origins of the toilet to the rise of the emoji" 💩

Says Google in a blog post:

"Woven through the exhibition are tales of lucky accidents, epic fails and even people who died for their projects—like Röntgen’s fluke discovery of x-rays, Isaac Peral’s ingenious electric submarine that never launched and Marie Curie’s quest to find polonium, which led to her own death from radioactive poisoning.

Despite these setbacks, human endeavour is a never-ending journey—and you can imagine that only a few things are as exhilarating as that “eureka” moment when everything falls into place.

Get all the tips you need to become an inventor, and learn why it’s important to embrace failure through the stories of pioneers like Ada Lovelace, Mae Jemison and Chien-Shiung Wu."


Once Upon a Try is online here, you should probably cancel all your social engagements for the next month if you want to explore it in full.*

*Just kidding, this is Gizmodo, none of us have any social engagements.