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Oh my god, it is a dinosaur!
―Ellie upon seeing the T-Rex

The Wyoming Museum of Science and History is a location featured in The Last of Us Part II. It is an abandoned museum where Joel Miller takes Ellie as a surprise for her 16th birthday. The museum appears in a flashback Ellie has at the end of her first day in Seattle. The flashback takes place three years prior, in 2035.[1]

History

Events of The Last of Us Part II

Ellie sits on a fallen tree, playing her guitar, as Joel approaches and comments on her progress. Joel wants to take Ellie somewhere as a surprise for her birthday, and as the pair begin walking through the woods near a stream, Ellie tries to guess where he is taking her. As they approach a narrow section, Joel pushes Ellie into the stream as a joke. It becomes clear that at some point Joel taught Ellie how to swim, and he tells her she needs to work on her confidence with being in the water. Ellie continues guessing but Joel will not reveal what the big surprise is. Joel spots a deer in the distance and as they stop to admire it Ellie pushes Joel into the stream in cheerful payback. Joel says they need to swim anyway in order to reach their destination, so Ellie jumps back into the water with a cannonball, and they continue their journey.

Tyrannosaurus Rex

They arrive at a section of thick woods which opens up to reveal a life-size statue of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, leaving Ellie awestruck. The T-Rex stands in the main courtyard outside the front of a museum and Ellie is able to climb up the tail onto the top of the dinosaur and jump into the water below. Joel explains that Maria told him about the location of the museum, and thought Ellie would like it. The pair make their way through the museum, viewing and commenting on the various attractions. Upon finding a Stockman-type hat, Ellie repeatedly places the hat on the dinosaur's heads for her own amusement. Joel joins in the fun and places the hat on top of a Brachiosaurus, and they comment on how the dinosaur reminds them of a giraffe. They enter a science exhibit and talk about space exploration, before sharing a father/daughter moment in an old space capsule.

The two later get separated as they reach the Natural History Center: Joel lifts Ellie through a window, but she finds the door has been barricaded from the inside, forcing Joel to find another way in. Ellie navigates through the building whilst strange noises and sinister messages scrawled on the walls surround her. She discovers the corpse of a Firefly who, from reading their suicide note, was depressed about the state of the world and the failure of the Fireflies. As Ellie finds an exit, a wild boar jumps out at her, but it quickly flees.

Joel, hearing the commotion, bursts his way into the building and checks on Ellie. She is fine, but her attention is drawn to graffiti on the wall: a Firefly symbol with the word "LIARS" written underneath. An agitated Joel tries to hurry Ellie out the building. Ellie pauses and reflects on the graffiti, and the meaning of the message.[1]

The Museum

Museum lobby.

The museum has long since been abandoned and shows the typical signs of degradation. Several of the glass ceilings have broken allowing rainwater and foliage inside, however most of the exhibits are still in good condition. 

In the main lobby there are several empty gift racks, but a small selection of souvenirs can be seen on shelves and littered across the floor. These include fake dinosaur eggs, hand puppets, globes, and grabber toys in different styles. There is a small Velociraptor display, which causes Joel to comment that he saw them in a movie. Ellie argues they are called something else as she reads off the genus name, Deinonychus, from the exhibit guide book.

There is a reception area where Ellie is able to play with the phone and have playful banter with Joel.

What appears to be touch-screen visitor information stands are placed throughout the museum, as well as a few novelty machines:

  • ANI-CAST - Automated Miniature Wax Factory that creates wax dinosaur figures. Price $2
  • Souvenir Penny Press. Price 51 cents
  • Adventure Stamp Card. Price free. This is likely a loyalty reward card in exchange for a gift.

Hours of Operation

TUESDAY - FRIDAY 10:00AM - 5:00PM
SATURDAY 9:00AM - 6:30PM
SUNDAY 9:30AM - 5:30PM

Donor Honor Wall

Many of the museum's donors are recognized with their names etched into a glass display.

Founder's Circle

Emilia Violet
Marcela Constance

Platinum

Research Center of Science and Math Scholarship Merit Society
Gondel Trustee Group
Greenway Performance Center
Sander & Sons Association of Wyoming

Legacy

Jackson County Community Foundation for Continuing Learning
Michelle Howell Women's Rights Foundation
Baldwin Scholarship Group
Beatrix Knowledge Foundation

President's Club

Sunshine and Rise Children's Hospital
Rangeview, Inc.
Swenson Family
Elizabeth N. Gonzalez Foundation
United Civil Rights Union

Gold

Opal Evening Star Healthcare Group
United Wellfair for Living Creatures Corp
Greenplace Market, Inc.
Weston's Pharmacy
Tomorrow Is a Beautiful Day Foundation

Silver

Timothy & Nicole Blair Foundation
Animal Foundry and Rescue
Ronin Wilingham Education Group
Vegans for Trees Foundation

Bronze

Gals with Guitars, Inc.
Ruston, Inc.
K. Phillips Foundation
Little Bird Artworks
Furthering Technologies & Structures

Exhibits

Exhibition Hall A

Giants of the Past - Where Dinosaurs Come Alive

Giants Pavillion

The exhibit was opened on July 1st, 2013 and ran up until the outbreak of the Cordyceps brain infection.

Step back through time to over 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs and other prehistoric giants roamed the Earth. In our Giants Pavilion, you'll find full skeletons on display. See how you'd measure up next to our own Triceratops, Wynnie, and don't forget to to look up! There are Pterodactyl's circling. Afterward, head into our annexes to get hands on with fossils of footprints, feathers and more!

The Giants Pavilion is a large exhibition space with a curved glass ceiling featuring several dinosaur skeletons and fossils on display. A large mural wraps around the room depicting dinosaurs wandering on open plains. Each attraction has a fact sheet with basic information for each dinosaur, but the one for the Gallimimus is mostly illegible. However based on the criteria from the other attractions this one can be completed.

Species Length Weight Diet Lived Discovered
Stegosaurus 30 feet 6 tons Herbivore Late Jurassic 155-150 mya Colorado, 1877
Triceratops "Wynnie" 29.5 feet 5.5 tons Herbivore Late Cretaceous 68-66 mya Colorado, 1889
Brachiosaurus 60 feet 50 tons Herbivore Late Jurassic 154-153 mya Colorado, 1903
Dimetrodon 10 feet 450 lbs Carnivore Early Permian 295-272 mya Texas, 1878
Gallimimus 20 feet 970 lbs Omnivore Late Cretaceous 100.5-66 mya Mongolia, 1964
Oviraptor 10 feet 75 lbs Omnivore Late Cretaceous 75 mya Mongolia, 1924

There is a display for Compsognathus before the main exhibit. Joel comments how he saw them in the sequel to the previously mentioned movie, but that it was not as good as the first one.

Pterodactyls hang from the ceiling circling above the main exhibit, with one perched on a rock overlooking the Dimetrodon. A large section of stone with numerous fossils is also on display featuring what appears to be a Pliosaur, molluscs, trilobites, and various marine life. In annexes there are several casts of dinosaur footprints, a selection of skulls ranging in size and fossils of small dinosaurs.

Skulls on display:

  • Velociraptor
  • Iguanodon
  • Allosaurus
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex
  • Pachycephalosaurus
  • Parasaurolophus

A display featuring an Ankylosaurus and a Dilophosaurus engaged in a standoff is just before a spiral staircase leading to the first floor.

Butterfly Canopy

A ripped banner in the lobby suggests an exhibit focused on butterflies. This may be connected to the Lepidoptera exhibit in the Natural History Center.

Spider Exhibit

Another ripped banner shows a picture of a spider and the name and date of an exhibit. However due to the damage of the banner it is mostly illegible.

Dino Hall - Dinosaur Discovery: An Exhibit of Jurassic Proportions

This exhibit was scheduled to run for two days on August 24th-25th 2013. It is likely this formed part of the Giants of the Past exhibit as a special event.

Extinction

On the first floor there is a depiction of an asteroid about to hit the Earth, with text describing how the dinosaurs became extinct.

It is still not fully understood what caused the mass extinction of the dinosaurs. However, most scientists agree that it was likely triggered by a large asteroid hitting the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico over 65 million years ago. An estimated 8-50.3 mi in diameter, the Chicxulub impactor created a hole 62 mi wide and 19 mi deep in the Earth. The shock caused by the impact would have triggered a megatsunami over 300 feet tall, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes worldwide. A cloud of extremely hot ash and steam would have spread from the crater in less than a second after impact, destroying everything in its path. Anything living outside of the initial impact zone would deal with emission dust and debris covering the earth for years or even decades. The dust would have blocked out the sun's rays, slowing photosynthesis and dramatically cooling the Earth's surface. 

Exhibition Hall B

A Walk Through the Stars

Space Exploration Exhibit

Through a turnstile is a Science and Space Exploration exhibit featuring a working orrery, scale models of space shuttles, satellites and space stations, a Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) and various other space artifacts throughout history.

Name Type Country Year
Vostok-K Carrier rocket Soviet Union 1960-64
PGM-11 Redstone Ballistic missile U.S.A. 1958-64
Atlas LV-3B Launch vehicle U.S.A. 1960-63
Voskhod Spacecraft Soviet Union 1964-66
LGM-25C Titan II Ballistic missile U.S.A. 1962-2003
Soyuz Spacecraft Soviet Union 1966-67
Saturn IB Launch vehicle U.S.A. 1966-75
Saturn V Launch vehicle U.S.A. 1967-73
STS Space Transportation System U.S.A. 1981-2011
Long March 2F Carrier rocket China 1999-present
Salyut 1 Space station Soviet Union 1971
Skylab Space station U.S.A. 1973-74
Mir Space station Soviet Union 1986-2001
International Space Station Space station Multi-national 1998-present
Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) Moon buggy U.S.A. 1971-72
Mercury (Navy Mark IV) Space suit U.S.A. 1959-70's
Gemini Space suit U.S.A. 1965
Launch Entry Suit (LES) Partial-pressure suit  U.S.A. 1988-98
Z-2 Space suit U.S.A. 2013-present
Flight suit - Multi-national 1917-present
SPD-143 Developmental pressure suit U.S.A. 1964-65
Apollo 11 A-7L Space suit U.S.A. 1969

A single tile of Thermal Protection System (TPS) is also displayed, alongside miscellaneous space artifacts.

Ellie is an avid fan of space exploration and regales Joel with fun facts about space, and Joel also recalls some interesting trivia. The two continue exploring the exhibit when Ellie sees the space reentry capsule, and she tries on helmets from the space suit display. They open up the capsule and climb inside, both impressed by the technology Ellie plays with all the buttons. Joel produces a cassette tape and hands it to Ellie as a birthday gift. She plays the tape in her cassette player, and closing her eyes uses her imagination to put herself in the cockpit of a spaceship about to launch.

Joel, humbled by Ellie's enjoyment of her birthday, asks her if he did okay. She responds "Are you fucking kidding me?" as she beams with joy. The pair laugh and exit the space capsule. Joel hands her a pin of a rocket and says "Welcome to Earth".

Exoplanets: Beyond the Solar System

A poster for this exhibit is partially covered by foliage making it difficult to confirm the full title, and scheduled dates if present.

Natural History Center

Natural History Center

This building has been cut off from the main museum by severe flooding in the water garden, but is still accessible by swimming. Joel states that he has not explored this section of the museum. In order to reach it they have to jump into the water from a great height. Ellie fearlessly cannonballs down, whereas Joel seems nervous about the drop. A statue of a growling American grizzly bear stands before the entrance and the initials WMSH are brandished above the doors. Joel boosts Ellie up through a broken window but the doors are blocked from the other side, so Joel tries to find another way inside. The reception area has a few souvenir stands with t-shirts, plush toys, mugs, bracelets and necklaces on offer, as well as a shoulder mount of a Bison on the wall.

There are still attractions on display, as well as sinister graffiti on the walls.

Animals of North America

This exhibit started before the outbreak and still has all of the attractions on display. As Ellie enters the main exhibition area a large display featuring a moose surrounded by a pack of wolves stands prominently in the center of the room. Ellie comments "Oof. Stay strong, buddy". More attractions include window displays of a bison, a small herd of bighorn sheep, woodland songbirds of Wyoming, birds of the coast and wetlands, an infographic for biomes of North America, raccoons foraging for food in trash cans, and another pack of wolves.

Lepidoptera

This exhibit was scheduled for October 8th - November 9th 2013, but never took place. The attraction would feature displays of butterflies, moths and various insects in glass cases, and a collection was already being curated and stored in a back room of the Center.

Firefly Graffiti

Throughout the Center there are disturbing writings on the walls each mentioning a horrific act of cruelty, notably how they killed several people and watched a child die from a land mine explosion. The final one is "there is no light." The words lead Ellie to the author's corpse. With it, she finds a suicide note. The man was an ex-Firefly who became disillusioned by the failure of the Fireflies and living in a savage world. There is a blood stain on the wall indicating the cause of death was suicide by gunshot to the head.[2]

As Ellie leaves the Center she sees a final piece of graffiti of the Fireflies' symbol with the word "LIARS" written underneath. Ellie pauses to reflect on it all as Joel forces his way into the building. Joel appears visibly nervous and hurries Ellie to leave the building.

Trivia

  • The mirror in the women's bathroom allows the player to control Ellie's facial expressions, as she pulls funny faces while Joel watches in the background.
  • Joel seems comfortable talking about Sarah and shares that he used to take her to museums a lot in Texas.
  • Ellie finds a wooden pallet in the water near the Natural History Center, and jokes about Joel giving her a ride. This is a callback to The Last of Us and the mechanic of using a pallet as a flotation device to cross bodies water as Ellie was unable to swim. Joel replies "Those days are long gone, kiddo."
  • Joel has the cassette tape in his front-top pocket from the beginning of the chapter, meaning he swam underwater with the tape exposed.
  • The rocket launch on the cassette tape is an actual recording of the Apollo 11 launch on July 16, 1969[3].
  • Ellie imagining herself in the space shuttle cockpit mirrors when Riley Abel told her to close her eyes and imagine playing the Angel Knives arcade game in Raja's Arcade during Left Behind.
  • Ellie's home in Jackson houses several books, posters and collectibles relating to science and history. 
  • At Joel's house in Jackson, there is a museum guide book on a bookshelf in the living room from the Giants of the Past exhibit. When Ellie picks up the book she opens it at the Deinonychus pages and comments "That was a good day". Also on Joel's bedside table there is a book called "An Idiot's Guide to Space", featuring fun facts about the universe.

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Seattle Day 1"
  2. Suicide note
  3. Apollo 11 launch 16th July, 1969 (Available online: Accessed July 16, 2020)

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