Yesterday we headed to the QLD Museum to visit their exhibition, “Deep Oceans“. It’s finishing soon and we were making a last minute dash before the school holidays begin and we have to bunker down for two weeks.
Admittedly, we’ve had months to visit, but I’d been putting it off. The subject matter just didn’t interest me, plus I couldn’t imagine how they could develop a whole exhibition around the topic. But one of my sons was adamant that we visit so we bought our tickets and jumped in the car.
Thankfully I listened to that son. The exhibition was much better than I expected and I was pleased that we’d given up our Saturday to visit. I can’t believe we almost missed it…on purpose!
At the “Deep Oceans” exhibition, there were plenty of
ugly intriguing deep sea creatures to wonder and marvel at, as well as all sort of other ocean related items.
Our visit has kindled quite a healthy interest in the deep. Did you know that we know more about Mars than our deep oceans?! This startled me. Or that more men have been to the moon than have been to the deepest point in our ocean?
We spent ages coming to grips with the actual depth of the ocean. If you place Mt Everest on the ocean floor, it would be nowhere near peaking out of the ocean. The Mariana Trench is deeper than Mt Everest is tall. That’s mind boggling.
One of my favourite things in the exhibition wasn’t very fishy at all. It was a book. I bet you could have guessed it would be book related. It’s a book from 1554.
It’s a Science book and the entry is about Monkfish. There is such a thing as a Monkfish, but it doesn’t look anything like that illustration. You couldn’t even trust textbooks in the 16th century!
But it wasn’t the fishy content that appealed to us. It was the language it was written in. It’s all in Latin. So, as all Latin students would have done, we stood there trying to translate snippets. After our attempts, we were none the wiser about Monkfish.
The star of the exhibit is probably the giant squid. He’s quite the attractive fellow. Did you know that squids have 8 arms and 2 tentacles? The long “arm-like” things are actually its two tentacles.
The kids of course always look for the hands on exhibits and there are quite a few excellent ones. In this exhibit, we placed our arms inside the tank, pressed a button, and felt the increasing pressure on our arm until it replicated the pressure we would feel over our whole body in the depths of the ocean.
Our favourite interactive exhibit is one that gave each of us near heart attacks. I won’t share which or it’ll spoil your fun, but boy would I love to be a fly on the wall when you uncover it. Hehehehe.
In this exhibit you sat inside a claustrophobic tank, which is a replica of a manned submersible, and listened to an audio describing the historic descent of the submersible. I couldn’t get my head around how a person could remain sane in that cramped metal ball at the depths of the ocean.
The most fascinating part of the exhibition was all of the monstrous creatures of the deep.
Check out the teeth on this Fangtooth. When you see his size, he’s not nearly as fearsome as he looks. Apparently, they need these vicious teeth to maintain their grip on whatever food they manage to catch, as food is scarce in the deep.
This is a species of Anglerfish. The lure on his head lights up with a blue-green glow, and attracts his lunch to him. The size of his mouth makes me think that he’s not planning on missing a meal that passes his way.
And this is a Bigspine Spookfish. Yep, he’d spook me too, if we met in the ocean. Apparently he’s related to sharks.
When I saw this critter, Ogilby’s Ghostshark, I wondered if his face was the inspiration for all of those depictions of aliens. It’s certainly what it reminded me of.
My favourite critters were the Sea Mice, which are actually worms (the ‘prettiest’ worms I’ve ever seen!). Their golden bristles reflect iridescent rainbows, like the surface of a dvd, which frightens off their predators. I might appreciate land mice more if they looked more like these curious little fellows.
Have you heard of Hagfish? Oh you have to google them. So cool. Their defense mechanism is slime!
Here’s a little video we watched about Hagfish.
In this video, you can see hagfish very effectively using their slime defensives to quickly ward off predators. Fascinating stuff.
I could go on for ages about all the things we learned. But the best way to learn it for yourselves is to visit the exhibition. It’s a paid exhibition but fairly priced. And, unlike previous special exhibitions, you don’t need to book a day and time to visit. You just rock up when you are ready. You’ll have to get there quickly though. It closes on the 6th October.