Treasure Hunting at UCL: A Museums at Night Adventure

Friday evening, myself and a couple of colleagues from Culture24 congregated in the central quad at University College London. What were we doing in ungodly Gower Street at such an ungodly hour? Well, dear readers, we were off to join the chase and follow the clues for the UCL Museums‘ “It’s Elemental: Treasure Hunt” event, which was part of the Museums at Night festival.

Elemental Treasure Hunt Quiz sheet
Elemental Treasure Hunt Quiz sheet

The Hunt Is On

Once the hunters had gathered, we were ready to receive our instructions. Although the basic premise of the night was obvious, what we really, really, needed to know was this; what was our prey?

Our prey, it transpires were little tags attached to various objects from the 5 (yes you read that correctly: FIVE) sites. There were a lot of tags, but which were the ones we needed?

Helpfully, our treasure map gave us some clues. Not so helpfully, some of the clues made very little sense. Here’s an example from the Petrie Museum:

 “I sail through the air. I paddle on land.
I ride the waves.
I have others with me
All carved in ivory.”

And that was one of the easier ones!

Amy and Holly hunting for clues
Amy and Holly hunting for clues

Eventually we collected the clues; each one a letter and a number. What could it possibly mean? At the briefing, the staff mentioned the need for a phone. The end game couldn’t be a hunt for a phone number… could it? Both London telephone numbers and mobile phone numbers have the same amount of digits in them. All we think we know at this point is that the number begins with a zero and we have more numbers than we need…

It turns out we were right. And that it was a mobile number we needed. And so we set to work.

Solving the clues, will wine help?
Solving the clues, will wine help?

Luckily, our fearless leader was able to offer advice:

Alas, we did not win, although we came tantalizingly close when Holly spotted the word “Atoms” in the letter soup. All we needed was to expand that to “Atmospheric” and we would have won. Alas, we were so close and yet so far!

If you enjoyed this post and would like to see some badges from the UCL Museums, head over to the Museum of Museum Badges.

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