The Indiana story begins long before Indiana

Set 12 to 20 billion years ago, Birth of the Earth: Setting the Stage traces the history of the state from a geological perspective. You’ll learn how constant, slow change—interrupted by sudden, bold transformations—creates the setting, the characters and the context for Indiana’s story.

Birth of the Earth is currently closed. A new 5,000 square-foot interactive experience will be taking its place and is scheduled to open in 2022.


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Make a Quake

Jump into a fun activity that lets you “make a quake.” A real seismograph shows you how big a tremor you can make.

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Use a 3D Map

Find out how the continents developed over millions of years through an 8-foot multimedia globe, or use the 3-D map to study the rock composition in our own state.

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Feel the rocks

Touch the common rock types found in Indiana, and learn how they’re all connected through the rock cycle.

Moon Stone

Take a Leap

Apollo 16 – the second-to-last Apollo mission – collected nearly 211 pounds of lunar material, including Lunar Sample 60025. Thanks to NASA, you can view the sample.

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Did You Know?

  • Shale Rock

    Shale is the only sedimentary rock formed in very quiet water, without waves or currents. Check out five examples of sedimentary rocks on display today!

  • apollo sample display indiana

    Once the astronauts returned to Earth, President Richard Nixon asked NASA to create displays containing lunar surface material and the flags of 135 nations, U.S. states and territories. The display with the Indiana flag and 0.05 grams of Apollo 11 moon dust was presented to Gov. Edgar D. Whitcomb. You can explore our full collection here.

  • Pangea

    About 300 million years ago, Earth didn’t have seven continents, but instead one massive supercontinent called Pangaea, which was surrounded by a single ocean called Panthalassa.

  • Kids in Birth of the Earth

  • Timeline of the Earth

  • Kids in Birth of the Earth

  • Kids in Birth of the Earth

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Tune into our YouTube Channel to dig deep and Explore more

There’s always plenty happening at the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites! We’re continuing to provide educational and engaging videos on our channel. Follow us for new stories, behind-the-scenes tours and other fun content.

Explore our channel today!