The Monterey Bay Aquarium, considered to be one of the world’s finest, and claiming 47 million visitors, has started its Open Sea Exhibition that will carry through out July. The exhibition is an attempt to replicate an area of the Pacific Ocean far from the shores of Monterey. The size and depth of the area and the lightning quick speed of its animals has compelled many to name it “the vast and the fast”.
“The open sea galleries bring our visitors into the heart of this extraordinary environment through transformed live exhibits, new multimedia experiences and surprising artistic elements”, said Jaci Tomulonis, a senior exhibit developer.
Recently the galleries have gone under extensive renovation and cleaning. This open sea exhibition reflects some of the least explored parts of the Pacific Ocean according to David Cripe who is the special exhibit coordinator for the aquarium. “The idea behind this is to give the visitor an inkling of the life and light they might encounter way out there”, he said.
In this new exhibit you will find glittering schooling fishes, pulsing jellies, lazily swimming sea turtles, colorful puffins, sea birds and skilled predators such as sharks and tunas. Some new species at the aquarium include yellowfin and bluefin tuna, brown shark, ocean sunfish, green sea turtles and sea parrots.
The interactive multimedia beautifully highlights the microscopic animals that form the base of the food web in the oceans. Alongside the Aquarium is a new art installation, which for the first time displays work in conjunction with live animal exhibits. Special lighting effects have been given to the main tank, whose purpose is to showcase how sunlight or its absence thereof, illuminates the deep sea. “Getting the lighting just right was a big part of the $19 million renovation”, said Aslanian, Aquarium’s chief engineer.
In addition to the specialized lighting, painting on 192 tank tiles makes animals not only appear out of nowhere but also disappear from view in the same manner. In reality though, the animals merely swim in circles. The dark blue painting also provides the much needed depth in the Aquarium.
What’s more interesting about the new display is that many fishes found are “counter shaded”, with darker tops and light bottoms. This depicts natures own mastery, since this shading makes it difficult for the predators to see them.
A great white shark is expected to be added to the aquarium soon. It would be the first time that a white shark will be placed on display. Different sea animals will be added and removed as the exhibit changes over time.