Otago Museum’s Sea Monsters exhibition is open!

With 70 exhibits, including immersive multimedia, real fossils that are millions of years old and huge life-sized fossil casts, Otago Museum is sinking their teeth into the latest international exhibition, Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Ocean Predators.

Open from Saturday 11 December until 1 May 2022, the special exhibition was previously shown at Auckland Museum. After its time at Otago Museum, Sea Monsters will be swimming back across the Pacific for overseas showings, so this will is your last chance to see it in New Zealand.

“This is an incredible exhibition for families”, said Otago Museum Marketing Manager, Kate Oktay. “There is a 13m long Elasmosaurus, and my favourite is the hands-on Draw Alive space where children can create their own sea monster, scan it in, and watch it digitally swim on the screen before them. There are also hands-on interactives, where kids can learn to swim like a sea monster, too. We are looking forward to having lots of out of town visitors coming to Dunedin to see it; it is just great to have something like this for the community after another year of Covid”

The exhibition was produced by the Australian National Maritime Museum who teamed up with one of the world’s leading sea monster experts, palaeontologist Dr Espen Knutsen, and kid curators. “They have really created something that is not only the latest science on marine reptiles, but also focuses on the role of play in museums and having something that sparks imagination in a subject that children love” said Head of Exhibitions and Creative Services, Craig Scott. “It is great to work closely with the Australian National Maritime Museum team again, after doing so with the James Cameron Challenging the Deep exhibition”, he continued.

The exhibition is being paired with events and activities for children in the Museum throughout the exhibition period, and the Museum has also created a free augmented reality gallery exhibit for youth and adults called Plunge.

On entering the gallery, visitors scan QR codes and are immersed in a watery world of imagination. The space, while appearing empty, when viewed through a phone is a virtual aquarium filled with 3D sea monsters, turtles, and fish that swirl and dive around the room with bubbles and water orbs that dance through the gallery.

The Museum hopes that these two exhibitions really capture the imagination of the city and it will inspire people from Christchurch, Invercargill and all the towns and communities in between to take a trip to Otago.

Millions of years ago while dinosaurs ruled the land, giant reptiles over 20 metres long hunted the depths of the sea – and they’re coming back to life all summer at Otago Museum.

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