The centennial of the sinking of the Titanic will be this April 15, and events are springing up everywhere from Belfast, Ireland, to St. Louis, MO. And now, one of the biggest aquariums in the northeastern U.S., the Mystic Aquarium, is jumping into the pool, too. The institution, operated by the Sea Research Foundation, has worked with the discoverer of the Titanic, Dr. Robert D. Ballard, and former Disney Imagineer Tim Delaney to develop its Ocean Exploration Center exhibit hall, representing a more than $1 million investment. It will open next week.
The exhibit is about 5,000 square feet and chock-full of interactive technology. There are Iceberg Encounter Kiosks with touch screen maps and quizzes about the lifecycle of icebergs. A projected graphic representation of the ship sinking illustrates key moments in the ship’s breakup and trajectory toward the ocean floor below, which they call the Sinking of Titanic Wall. The Interactive Fish & Titanic Video Footage wall is a large-scale interactive video montage of Titanic footage captured by Dr. Robert Ballard and his team from 12,450 feet below. It features creatures and unique fish found on the ocean floor that respond to attendees’ motion. Kids and adults interact with the projected fish, causing them to swim closer or retreat.
“Through this exhibit, we’re looking to significantly increase our attendance this year,” Dr. Steve Coan, president and ceo of the Sea Research Foundation, told Buzz. “The idea of high-tech, hands-on experience is not new to us, but it is unique in the aquarium world. Our uniqueness is in the fact that we have extensive exhibits on the deep ocean, and this is part of that expertise.” Agency: EWI Worldwide, Livonia, MI.