Mystery at the Museum

Steve Backshall in torchlight investigating the Mystery at the Museum

A door creaks. The circle of torchlight swings around the exhibition hall, picking out ribs, a spine, rows of teeth in its beam… Hang on – what’s this – an empty showcase...?

Join wildlife presenter and explorer Steve Backshall on a hunt for a missing exhibit in this unique live-streamed, interactive puzzle challenge! 

Devised by Steve Backshall and escape room creators Agent November, Mystery at the Museum will take you on a virtual behind-the-scenes adventure through the spectacular building of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Help Steve solve a series of puzzles to save a missing museum specimen, learning about the natural world along the way.



How to Take Part

Formal registration for this event has now closed; however, never fear, you can still join us at the live event. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so at this link either now or during the live event.  For more information, see below:


Mystery at the Museum will be streamed live from the museum tonight across Steve Backshall’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Steve will be guided through a series of puzzles by what you, the participants, write in the comments sections, therefore it is important for you to be logged into your account on the platform you are viewing on (or ask your parents to login to theirs!) so that you can help him solve the puzzles!

Details of the best way to join in on each platform are below. There are also instructions about what to do if your stream is interrupted - there are different actions to take depending on what platform you’re viewing on. The stream will start at 18:50 GMT, and there will be a brief introduction and welcome to the event, as well as a chance to introduce yourselves in the chat, and to check that the streaming is working well for you.

At 19:00 GMT your screen will go dark as we join Agent Backshall on the roof of the museum to start the event, this changeover may take up to a couple of minutes, so stay on the feed and please don’t log off! Good luck!


Viewing on Facebook works well on your computer browser or on the phone or tablet app. Make sure you double click into the video rather than watching it in the feed, and you’ll get a video with a side-bar where you can join in the comments.

N.B. If the stream is interrupted when you are watching on Facebook, stay on the same page – the stream should start again momentarily. If it doesn’t start for a minute or so, try refreshing the page.


Viewing on twitter, it is best to watch it on your smartphone or tablet app, which allows you to comment whilst also watching the video. Make sure you double click into the video rather than watching it the feed – tap anywhere in the video and a comments box will pop up. If you are watching on Twitter in your computer browser, we recommend having a second device to make your comments on, otherwise the stream will be paused each time you want to comment.

N.B. If the stream is interrupted when watching on Twitter, you’ll need to close the video and go back to Steve’s twitter feed to see the reconnected stream as a new post.


Viewing on Youtube works well in browser or on the phone or tablet app. When watching in the browser, it’s best not to go full-screen or you won’t be able to participate in the chat to the right of the video.

N.B. If the stream is interrupted when watching on YouTube, you’ll need to close the video and go back to Steve’s YouTube channel to find the reconnected stream as a new live broadcast.

HOPE for the Future

Mystery at the Museum is free for all to attend online, and is designed to raise funds for the Museum’s ambitious HOPE for the Future project, which is preserving the 200-year-old Hope entomology collection. You can find out more, and make a donation here. Designated by Arts Council England as being of national and international importance, the Hope collection contains over 1 million British insects, from butterflies and beetles to flies and fleas. Under the HOPE for the Future project, insect-related teaching, outreach and events will inspire a new generation of scientists and increase public awareness of the climate and biodiversity crisis.