- On 2019-09-21
- In Discover Egypt
The Marine Museum in Alexandria
The Marine Museum in Alexandria, also known as Qaitbay Maritime Museum is one of the smallest museums in Egypt. I actually entered it by mistake because I thought it was one of the gates that lead to Qaytbey Fort in Alexandria. In fact, The Marine Museum in Alexandria once was one of the gates to the fort. The Museum of the Marine Corps is a museum that displays different kinds of sea creatures and scenes from the Red and Mediterranean Seas.
OK, this is not the usual type of venue for those visiting Egypt. However, in our ever consuming quest to document every museum in Egypt, I couldn’t just pass it by. After all, if one is visiting Fort Qaytbey, it is easy to poke one’s head into this museum. Although this museum is located on the Mediterranean coast, the first displays catch a visitor’s eyes are scenes from the Red Sea. It contains natural coral reefs, many kinds of fish like the Picasso fish, and some seashells.
Collection and Contents
Afterward, the next display consists of a collection of skates and rays. Some of these creatures are more than three meters long. Some of them look scary, while some have natural colors and wonderful designs on their backs. Next, there is a huge collection of sea sponges from the Mediterranean Sea. These creatures come in a variety of different colors and shapes. Mainly they are either a shade of white or pink and in semi-circular shapes. There are three primary kinds of sponges in Egypt. They consist of glass, turkey cup, and honeycombs. The turkey cup sponge getsit’s name from its smooth skin. The honeycomb sponge is brown and has a wide opening in its body. They all live in deep seawater.
The study of these fossils is also essential for the search for petrol. After this, there is a display of a natural jaw of a shark. It is poised as if the shark is attacking its prey. The upper jaw has six rows of very sharp teeth, each six centimeters long. The length of the open jaw is more than 70 centimeters. As I live in Cairo, I did not spend much time near the sea, and my main exposure to sharks is based on movies, but this display certainly reinforced my imagination of sharks being scary creatures.
Next, there are some drawings of fish. They are an original copy from the book of the description of Egypt. French scientists in the Napoleon occupation of Egypt done these drawings. They represent another collection of fish that live in the Mediterranean Sea. This rare document would be, for some the most interesting in the museum. The next section contains a large collection of different seashells found in the Red and Mediterranean Seas. These seashells vary greatly in their shape and size. Some of them are tiny while others are huge, but there are many seashell enthusiasts, and this might be of interest to them.