The museum at La Brea Tar Pits remains closed until further notice. The park at La Brea Tar Pits is currently open, and visitors can see paleontologists working at our excavation site weekly. See NHMLAC's response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

A History of Hydrocarbons

Explore how 20 million years of geology fueled car culture in L. A.

Pumps BLA

Whether it's cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway or being stuck on the 10 freeway during rush hour, Los Angeles is a city defined by driving. Automobiles make up the stuff of California dreams and commuting nightmares, but their connection to the city runs deeper than surface streets—20 million years deeper. Join Gallery Interpreter Michelle Vanegas for an exploration into how the geology of Southern California helped shape Los Angeles car culture.