Away from the public eye, scientists at Carnegie Museum of Natural History have access to more than 200,000 jarred, labeled, and perfectly preserved specimens stored in The Alcohol House.
The three-story storage room has been a part of the museum for more than 100 years and is a herpetologist’s dream. It boasts about 65,000 salamanders, 54,000 frogs, 29,500 snakes, 29,500
turtles, and 30,500 lizards, all preserved in ethyl alcohol.
A past curator of the Alcohol House, C. J. McCoy, said the room is like “a three-way hybrid between a pickle warehouse, a reference library, and a mail-order establishment.”
Scientists use the specimens for their research, and can compare the size, shape, and extremities of reptiles and amphibians from 100 years ago with those found today and identify new species.