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Wikipedia Is Crowdsourcing Photos Of The 20 Million Artifacts Lost In Brazilian Museum Fire

Wikipedia is attempting to preserve the memory of as many artifacts that were lost in the Museu Nacional fire as possible, and you might be able to help.

The planet we live on is pretty fascinating. It can be mind-boggling to contemplate that the 80 or so years we get to spend upon it, if we're lucky, is merely a tiny snapshot of everything that has happened on Earth, or even in the history of humankind. If we want to know more about what has happened here, we have to rely on items and stories left behind.

The best place to do that, of course, is by visiting a museum or two. Some of the items on show in museums around the world that have been preserved for hundreds or even thousands of years are incredible. Sadly, one of Brazil's biggest and oldest museums, The Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, caught fire earlier this month, and a great many of its priceless artifacts were destroyed.

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The Museu Nacional actually housed an incredible 20 million items from the past, and it's assumed that pretty much all of them were lost in the fire. However, Wikipedia is attempting to find a silver lining in what is the saddest time in the museum's history. The website has asked anyone who ever visited the Museu Nacional to send photos of any artifacts that they may have taken in an attempt to preserve them online and ensure they are never forgotten.

As you can imagine, the list of irreplaceable items lost in the fire is almost endless. The oldest human fossil ever discovered in Brazil was destroyed, and a 5.5-tonne meteorite that was found over 300 years ago also perished, according to Cnet. How much of the museum's contents have been destroyed is currently unknown as the building is still not safe enough to enter.

If you have ever paid a visit to the Museu Nacional and have some photos that you would like to donate to Wikipedia's attempts to preserve it and its artifacts memories, it is pretty easy to do so. Click here, head to "upload file", select which photos you would like to donate, confirm that they are your own work, and add the category "Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro".

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