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Space Museum takes audiences on a magical underwater journey

The Hong Kong Space Museum's latest Omnimax Show "Deep Sea" will take audiences deep below the ocean surface in many locations around the world and give them never-before-seen, up-close encounters with a wide range of undersea life.

"Deep Sea" will screen from tomorrow (August 1) until January 31, 2008.

With the gigantic screen, audiences will dive in deep seas and swim with the world's most exotic creatures, such as sponge-likefrogfish, or quicksilver-like minnows, which can easily hide from predators. The Mantis Shrimp is only 10 inches long but he is much stronger than his size. His powerful claws are as fast as a bullet and capable of breaking mussels for dinner. The giant Pacific Octopus living in the waters off British Columbia, Canada, can grow to weigh more than 200 pounds with tentacles that can stretch more than 20 feet. As he moves, he changes both colour and texture to match his surroundings.

Keeping the equilibrium of the underwater ecology is important and mother nature provides some ingenious ways to even the odds. For example, sea stars eat coral. Too many sea stars will wipe out an entire reef. However, sea stars are the main diet for the Triton Trumpet snail which is immune from the venom of sea star's thorns, and all this helps save the coral. Though the wolf eel looks like an ogre, he is also important to preserve the balance. Wolf eels eat sea urchins, and sea urchins eat kelp. If the urchin population explodes, the kelp will disappear.

In the sea world, different species that we think would be enemies often help each other. Green sea turtles love going to the reef near the island of Hawaii because the reef fish give them a good scrub. In exchange the turtles give the fish a healthy vegetarian feast. There is a surprising bond between sharks and small fish. Instead of hiding from the shark, schools of small fish gather round, using sharks as protection from Tuna, Jacks, and other predators. The relationship is also the same between lemon sharks and remoras. By hitching a ride on the shark the suckerfish can count on lemon sharks for finding food.

However, nudibranchs are thieves. They eat the venomous stinging cells from sea anemones. The tentacles pass through their gut and are deposited in their gills to serve as protection.

The whole reef community is a mirror of the world, which is built on relationships. The predator and prey are part of the balance. In the last 50 years, 90% of all big fish have been taken from the ocean. Over-fishing is decimating one species after another. People must understand how important all species are to each other.

The 40-minute Omnimax Show, "Deep Sea", will be screened daily at 1.30pm, 5pm and 8.30pm at the museum's Stanley Ho Space Theatre. The Space Museum is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays).

Tickets are available at the Space Museum Box Office and at all URBTIX outlets for $24 (front stalls) and $32 (stalls). Full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities will receive a half-price concession.

The Space Museum is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. For further information, call 2721 0226 or visit the website at .

Ends/Tuesday, July 31, 2007
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