Edinburgh's Dynamic Earth opens £1 million exhibition dedicated to the world's ocean

Edinburgh’s science centre has opened its new £1 million Discover the Deep exhibition, which will educate visitors about the ocean.

By Anna Bryan
Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 11:03 am

Dynamic Earth’s new permanent exhibition includes models, displays and interactive experiences, which are designed to help people to learn more about the ocean and the threats to the survival of deep-sea ecosystems.

With interactivity and state-of-the-art technology throughout, Discover the Deep offers something for all ages.

The exhibition is split into four different zones: Our Connected Ocean, The Pioneers of Oceanography, Scotland’s Underwater World and Exploring the Deep. .

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In one section, visitors can dive into the underwater world via a spectacular 6 metre by 15-metre-long screen. The moving screen takes them hundreds of metres below the surface of the water, exploring the cold-water coral reefs and biodiversity of Scotland’s deep-sea.

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Another area features a model of HMS Challenger, which launched on its famous Challenger Expedition 150 years ago. Visitors can explore some of the techniques used by the crew, as well as some of the specimens brought back from the deep on this voyage, that still play an important role in marine science to this day.

The final part of the exhibition looks at modern research techniques with a variety of interactive stations allowing visitors to find out about marine acoustics, seabed mapping, deep-sea technology, microplastics, and threats to the deep ocean.

Bruno Massie (3) dives into the underwater world via a spectacular 6 metre by 15-metre-long screen at Dynamic Earth's Discover the Deep exhibition.

A new presenter-led planetarium show, ‘Under Pressure: The Ocean Show’, has been created to complement the new exhibition. The film plunges into the deep to explore dark, hidden ecosystems and show the collective efforts of hundreds of marine scientists and engineers striving to learn all they can about these mysterious worlds. Featuring new technology and cutting-edge software, viewers are immersed in surround-sound, with fully digital 360° screens and pin-sharp 6K resolution .

Dr Hermione Cockburn, Scientific Director at Dynamic Earth, said: “We’re thrilled to open our brand-new exhibition, Discover the Deep, which is the biggest investment we’ve had at the centre since 2014. At a time when the health of the ocean is in steep decline, it’s vital that people feel a connection to the marine environment and understand how important it is to our future. We hope the new exhibition will inspire visitors by revealing wonderful deep-sea habitats just off the coast of Scotland, as well as the central role Scottish scientists have played and continue to play in how we understand it.

“We hope it prompts an interest, or even a passion, for the ocean, along with an understanding of what we can all do to protect it. Discover the Deep, and the wider science engagement and outreach programme that goes with it, is a result of 5 years’ work collaborating with scientists across the country to tell the story of Scotland’s deep-sea, and we can’t wait to see how visitors respond to it!”

The £1 million exhibition was made possible by major funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other trusts, foundations and private donors.

Jo Paulson explores the cold-water coral reefs at the new exhibition.

Regular Dynamic Earth features remain, including the ever-popular real iceberg, a bone-shaking earthquake and the Deep Time Machine which takes visitors billions of years back in time.

Dynamic Earth's new Discover the Deep gallery is home to a model of HMS Challenger.