Light has been shed (literally!) on organisms residing 4,000 metres below sea level in The Deep, a first-of-its-kind exhibition in Southeast Asia which brings to you more than forty rarely spotted and sometimes eerie-looking deep-sea animals. Members of the media, myself included, experienced what it is like to observe these creatures in their “natural habitat” as we were treated to a special and exclusive preview of The Deep, which is set in a pitch dark environment, on the 5th of June at the ArtScience Museum.
A total of sixty-seven images of sea fauna and bioluminescent critters have also been featured, some of which have never encountered a camera before. The exhibition, which has been divided into eight different zones, showcases the various depths of the ocean, such as life in the mid-water (up to 4,000 metres below the surface of the sea) and on the ocean floor. The concluding zone of The Deep serves as a worthy tribute to the curator of the exhibition herself, Ms. Claire Nouvian, whose efforts to increase public awareness regarding the necessity to conserve the deep sea ecosystem has made this endeavour possible.
Having first visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, USA, in 2001, Ms. Nouvian had watched a film that featured dazzling images of sea fauna which lived up to 4,000 metres beneath the surface. Fascinated by the discovery of a new world, she began to build partnerships with some of the world’s most esteemed researchers and scientists to create an extensive and superior archive of abyssal images and specimens, most of which had never been viewed by the general masses. The Deep exhibition premiered at the Natural History Museum in Paris in 2007, marking the pioneer public display of never-before-seen deep sea creatures. Eight years on, the ground-breaking exhibition has made its way to Marina Bay Sands.
Also present at the unveiling of The Deep was Mr. Allan Gottini (below, right), the exhibition’s stage manager and taxidermist. Mr. Gottini, who hails from Paris, acquired the art of taxidermy from his father, Mr. Christophe Gottini, the chief taxidermist of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. The mode of presentation of the specimens from the deepest regions of the ocean is an extremely unique one. The Gottinis came up with a special technique just for The Deep. The marine species are suspended within tanks with the aid of barely visible threads attached to the walls of moulded resin along the edges of the aquariums.
Children who are ardent fans of science, and of marine life in particular, are sure to have a field day at The Deep! It promises a one-of-a-kind sensory experience which allows one to immerse himself into the intriguing world of deep-sea creatures. Coming face-to-face with these animals that have unconventional looking faces and features is a reminder to one that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder! As for those of you who are science-fiction junkies, this is probably the closest you are going to get to an “alien” as I couldn’t help thinking that the appearance of some of these creatures must have definitely inspired makers of alien-themed Hollywood films!
There’s lots of new knowledge to be savoured at The Deep as well! For instance, did you know that more men have walked on the moon than have dived to the deepest parts of the ocean? Surprising, isn’t it? Or did you know that no plant life exists in the ocean at a depth of 200 metres and below? Everything is either animal or mineral! To nibble on many more interesting nuggets of information, come on down to The Deep at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands! The exhibition is slated to run till October this year.
For more information on The Deep, visit the website by clicking here.
All images are courtesy of ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands.