Media release: Deep Oceans

Dive into the Australian Museum's latest exhibition - Deep Oceans - from 16 June 2012.

A deepsea anglerfish, Bufoceratias wedli

N.J. Marshall © N.J. Marshall & Harb. Br. Oceanog. Inst.

Enter a dark and dangerous world of giant sea creatures and bizarre fish as you journey below the Earth’s surface to discover what lies beneath in Deep Oceans – a new joint exhibition from the Australian Museum and Questacon—The National Science and Technology Centre.

Dive in and uncover the secrets of the world’s largest habitat as the strange and rarely seen creatures of the deep are revealed.

From the Vampire Squid and Dragonfish to the Sea Mouse, Fangtooth and Squat Lobster – this hands-on exhibition will showcase all the weird and wonderful animals that make their homes 4000 metres below the sea.

Exhibition Project Officer, Em Blamey, said Deep Oceans will unravel the mysteries that have fascinated people for generations.

‘More people have walked on the surface of the Moon than have descended to the deepest ocean trench. The deep ocean makes up over 95% of the “living space” on Earth yet less than 10% of it has been explored – leaving our imaginations to fill in the blanks,’ she said.

‘From ancient mariners returning with tales of sea serpents and mermaids to unfathomable “globsters” found washed up on beaches – the line between fact and fiction is often blurred.’

‘We’re yet to find Godzilla down there but we do know that massive 500 kilogram Colossal Squid with tentacles full of vicious hooks exist – and they may have friends!’

The exhibition takes visitors on an expedition from what we know to the great unknown and shows how new technologies are enabling scientists to discover more.

‘Deep oceans are already under threat from pollution, ocean acidification, trawling and mining but we don’t know enough to fully appreciate their impacts,’ said Ms Blamey.

‘We really need to understand, appreciate and protect this unique environment before it’s too late.’

The family-friendly exhibition features interactive exhibits, multimedia and real specimens collected by Australian Museum scientists.

Highlights include:
• See amazing glow in the dark sea creatures from the depths of the abyss;
• Discover the deep ocean sponges that contain cancer-fighting compounds;
• Escape the jaws of an Anglerfish;
• Hop aboard our replica of the Bathysphere, the first submersible to descend beyond light, and experience a dive to the depths;
• Come face to face with a five metre model of a Giant Squid— the biggest invertebrate on earth;
• Learn about new technology oceanographers are using to map out the 25 million seamounts (extinct undersea volcanoes) lying hidden below the waves;
• Follow the special Octonauts themed trail for under 5s.

Deep Oceans opens at the Australian Museum on 16 June 2012 (until 14 October) and at Questacon in early December 2012.


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