Museum history



The Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders is the labor of love of Mr. Manop and Mrs. Rampa Rattanarithikul, collectors of these natural wonders for more than 50 years.


 We welcome all people to the museum. We hope all people will come to understand, love, respect and care for nature and all that exists throughout creation. An ultimate state of conscious connection within all human “beings” would benefit and return balance to all of the world’s ecological systems. Visit the Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders for a unique educational experience that is the fruit of one couple’s journey through the worlds of natural history and medical entomology.


 We serve as a house of reminders displaying precious gifts of nature and expressions of infinite beauty and wonder. We care for thousands of insects, butterflies, seashells, fossils, stones and many other amazing rarities from Thailand and other countries.  


 Our Story: Manop & Rampa Rattanarithikul


 Our museum’s history has many strands, woven from our lives before and after we met, and from our careers and travels.

 From one perspective, the museum’s history goes back to 1936, when Manop was three years old and received a “vulture’s egg” from his grandmother, which became the cornerstone and inspiration of his future collections. [[Click here to read the story of “The Vulture’s Egg.”]]


 From another perspective, the museum grew from Manop’s and Rampa’s love affair with mosquitoes. For Mr. Manop, this passion started in 1950, when Chiang Mai was abundant with various kinds of plants and insects. Malaria was also a primary killer at that time, and the project of Malaria and Filariasis Control of Thailand was dedicated to eradicating it. A couple of American scientists, Dr. Deed C. Thurman, Jr. and his wife Dr. Ernestine Thurman, came to Chiang Mai to advance this work. Mr. Manop Rattanarithikul worked with them on this project, becoming the first Thai expert on mosquitoes. Mrs. Rampa Rattanarithikul later joined him in this work, on her way to becoming one of the leading medical entomologists in the world.


In 1965, the U.S. Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS), formerly part of SEATO, sent Mrs. Rampa and Mr. Manop to the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. They worked in temporary positions as mosquito taxonomists. During later travels throughout America and Europe, Mr. Manop began collecting seashells, fossils, rocks, and other natural rarities from all around the world. The museum you see today grew from all of these pursuits and travels.  


 The purpose of conserving natural treasures within the museum is to encourage and inspire people to understand, reconnect with and care for all of creation – for the benefit of all living things, now and throughout all times of this wondrous world.

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