The underground has always been infused with mystery -- something's going on down there, but we'll never really know until our geologists quit accepting dazzling geode bribes from the mole men. Finally casting weird light on subterranean mysteries, The Museum of Ephemerata's "Underground".
"Underground" is a subtly Barnum-esque exhibit celebrating curiosities excavated by the mining-helmeted curators behind The Museum of Ephemerata, a husband/wife/baby team inspired by a great-grand uncle's similar enterprise from the 1920s, when Warren G. Harding was the only one Regulating. The guided tour of their transformed East Austin bungalow begins with a primer on Old West tunneling culture via a Nevada mineshaft map, then moves on to everything from authentic lanterns (from carbide to candle-in-coffee can), to bizarre anecdotes from the lives of miners, all soundtracked by a player-piano tickling out "There's A Goldmine in the Sky" -- not far-fetched, considering how your money disappears into thin air. More underground mysterioso includes contraband relics (illegally acquired Missouri stalactites & Indian pot sherds...), religious artifacts ("significant dirt" from miraculous holy sites, a dug-up 17th Century wax sculpture of baby Jesus), and fossils such as a cross-sectioned Tyrannosaurus egg and mineralized dino feces from the T. Rex's notoriously irregular cousin, the Tyarrrheasaurus.
The circus of the bizarre concludes with accurate equivalents of the minerals residing under the human skin, i.e., a nail representing 5 grams of iron and a carbon load represented by 25 pounds of charcoal, all that remains of those geologists who wouldn't take the bribe.