Google brings fossils and artifacts back to life after fire destroys Brazilian museum

Brazil's Museu Nacional caught fire in September, destroying millions of historical pieces.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen

This skull belongs to Luzia, an early human estimated to have lived between 11,000 and 11,500 years ago.

Museu Nacional/UFRJ

Some of the artifacts in Brazil's Museu Nacional survived millions of years, only to be destroyed in September 2018 when the museum caught fire.

But thanks to Google , people are able to experience some of the artifacts that are now lost forever. Google announced on Thursday that you can take a virtual tour of the museum with Google Street View and online exhibits.

Google has been working with the museum since 2016 to digitize its collection.

The Museu Nacional was home to historical pieces like indigenous artifacts, dinosaur remains and the oldest human skeleton ever discovered in the Americas. An estimated 20 million pieces were lost in the museum fire, so it's lucky that Google was able to immortalize some of the collection online.

Wikipedia is also working to revive the museum's collection by asking people to upload any pictures taken of the museum to Wikimedia Commons.