Where did it all begin? Wrong question. In the beginning, there was no “where”. There was nothing at all! No space, no time. Nothing except an infinitely tiny blob of matter, billions of times smaller than an atom. Everything that now exists was concentrated in that little blob. Then, around fourteen billion years ago, the blob exploded and gave birth to time and space. Within just a few minutes, it had expanded to form a vast space full of fiery hot matter. After 700,000 years, the temperature had cooled down from a hundred billion degrees to three thousand degrees. Space was full of billions of swirling clouds of gas and dust. In one of them, a nucleus formed, surrounded by a flat disc-shaped dust cloud. That nucleus became the star we call the sun. And the disc-shaped cloud condensed to form planets. Like planet Earth.
How rocks begin and end
About the origins of rocks.
Our solar system
Why are some planets in our solar system so small and others so big?
In de opstelling
Treasures from the depths of the Earth
Over 4,200 different minerals have been discovered on Earth so far.
Industrial minerals in the exhibition
Industrial minerals are rocks and minerals that have commercial uses such as gemstones, fuels, construction materials, salts and metals.
Photo: Bachmont / CC
No life without water
Every organism is made up of water. Water is pumped throughout our bodies to support our organs. Plants and animals cannot exist without it. Two-thirds of the human body is water. Our bodies are really sacks of water walking around on dry land.