The ocean provides more than 99 per cent of the space available for living things on the planet, but only around 3 per cent of that space has been explored. Scientists may even discover new species almost every time they visit the deep ocean, which makes that mysterious part of the world so attractive to explorers. Those who want to catch the spirit of exploration should not miss the latest special exhibition, "Creatures of the Abyss", at the Hong Kong Science Museum. The exhibition will enable visitors to explore a world that is totally beyond their imagination.
Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the exhibition features about 40 exhibits produced and supplied by Science North from Sudbury in the Canadian province of Ontario, including some full-scale models of marine life, mechanical interactive exhibits and multimedia programmes. On show from tomorrow (June 29) until October 17, the exhibition will take visitors on a journey to the most inaccessible ecosystem on Earth - the deep ocean, where fascinating creatures can be found.
The exhibition is one of the highlight programmes to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Officiating at the opening ceremony today (June 28) were the Acting Assistant Director (Heritage and Museums) of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Chan Shing-wai; the Chief Executive Officer of Science North, Canada, Mr Guy Labine; and the Acting Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Science Museum, Ms Karen Sit.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Chan noted that the Chinese manned submersible Jiaolong descended to a depth of 7,000 metres in the Mariana Trench last Sunday (June 24) to carry out its deep-sea expedition, and said that such exploration is as thrilling as man's probing of outer space.
He added that at a depth of 4,000m the water is just above the freezing point and pitch black, yet in such a hostile environment there exists a surprising variety of creatures whose appearance can defy our wildest imagination. "Creatures of the Abyss" offers visitors a magnificent journey to the "final frontier" of our planet - something only a few may be privileged to enjoy in a lifetime.
Divided into eight sections, the exhibition looks at the unique environment and ecology of the deep sea. Starting with the section entitled "Into the Deep", the exhibition takes visitors into the dark abyss, where they will be able to see striking images of the strange creatures that inhabit the depths and hear the unique sounds that are created there.
In the second section, "The Deep Ocean", visitors will encounter some sensational creatures, with the most spectacular one being an 8m-long life-size model of a colossal squid, which is the largest known species of squid.
The third section, "The Dark Ocean", will let visitors learn about ocean depths of about 4,000m, where no light can penetrate from above. The environment is pitch dark, persistently cold and under intense pressure from the weight of all the water above. Visitors can experience the cold environment, visualise the effects of the intense pressure, and view some of the amazing light produced by creatures that live in total darkness.
The fourth to seventh sections will lead visitors to the "Deep-Sea Destinations", displaying the most amazing geographical features of the deep sea, including the deep sea canyons, where a variety of creatures can be found; the Abyssal plain, which is the flattest place on Earth; the Hydrothermal Vents; and the undersea mountains.
The last section of the exhibition focuses on threats to the ocean, what the future may hold for the ocean, how humans are impacting the ocean and researchers' recommendations through different computer graphics, videos and commentaries.
To enhance public knowledge of the deep sea, the Hong Kong Science Museum has invited the Aquarium Department of the Ocean Park Hong Kong to organise a series of lectures. The Aquarium Specialists from the Ocean Park will share with the public funny stories and their experiences of nurturing the ocean creatures. The lecture series will be held on August 25 and September 29 from 2.30pm to 4pm at the museum's Lecture Hall. The lectures, in Cantonese, will be free of charge with seats available on a first-come, first-served basis. For details, please visit the museum's website at www.hk.science.museum/spexh/cota/en/activities.html .
Admission to the exhibition is $30 with half-price concession for full-time students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. Free admission on Wednesdays and Museum Weekly Pass are not applicable to this exhibition.
The Hong Kong Science Museum is located at 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East. It is open from 1pm to 9pm from Monday to Wednesday and on Fridays, and from 10am to 9pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays).
For details of the exhibition, visit the webpage of the Hong Kong Science Museum at hk.science.museum/spexh/cota/en/index.html, or call 2732 3232.
Ends/Thursday, June 28, 2012
The special exhibition "Creatures of the Abyss" was officially opened today (June 28) at the Hong Kong Science Museum. Picture shows the officiating guests at the opening ceremony (from left), the Chief Executive Officer of Science North, Canada, Mr Guy Labine; the Acting Assistant Director (Heritage and Museums) of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Chan Shing-wai; and the Acting Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Science Museum, Ms Karen Sit.
Officiating guests tour the special exhibition "Creatures of the Abyss".
A life-size model of a colossal squid is the centrepiece of the "Creatures of the Abyss" exhibition. Visitors can explore the arms, tentacles, beaks and inking behaviours of squid and other cephalopods under the watchful gaze of the giant squid's animatronic eyeball.
On entering the "Bioluminescence Theatre" of the exhibition, visitors will see how deep-sea creatures create their own light, which helps them find prey, avoid their predators and attract a mate.