Skip to main content

Google Art Project goes 3D with vast, macabre collection of animal skulls

Google Art Project goes 3D with vast, macabre collection of animal skulls

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Google is continuing to expand and add to its Google Art Project, with the latest update allowing museums and galleries to upload 3D objects to the online art-sharing platform. Following the feature's launch today, more than 200 3D-scanned artifacts have been added. Highlights include a 9,000-year-old mask — the oldest in the world — from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and a vast, macabre, and fascinating collection of animal skulls provided by the California Academy of Sciences. The 3D objects in Google Art Project are labeled as such, and users can simply click on them with their mouse or trackpad and spin them around or zoom in and out.

spin the skull is the new spin the bottle

It's a neat addition to the growing art platform, and the skulls particularly are fun to browse, letting you explore in detail the similarities and differences between different animals' bone structure. However, it would've been nice if the museums involved had also followed the example of the British Museum, which not only scanned and uploaded 3D models of some of its artifacts, but also made them free to download. Exploring historical objects in three dimensions is one thing, but we can't wait until you can 3D print your own museum at home.