The Tiger and I visited The Deep exhibition at the ArtScience Museum right after we were done with the Dreamworks Animation exhibition. Down the path after exiting Dreamworks, we were hit with a total contrast in terms of a welcome.
Upon entering The Deep, our eyes had to adjust to the close-to-pitch black darkness enveloping us, with only streaks of blue and white from the panels being the only sources of light. As we entered, the exhibits gave us an overall view of deepsea exploration around the world – how it advanced through history, and general underwater geography.
Moving on, we entered this room with a few cases of deepsea creatures suspended in resin, with clay jars showcasing sea organisms and their bio-luminescence, with black light torches to see the colours.
After which, we continued deeper into the exhibition, descending every thousand feet or more and seeing smaller, stranger-looking creatures as we went on. Like the first room, these fishes are suspended in resin and showcased on small windows or zoomed-in photographs, especially since deepsea creatures are usually small to withstand the immense amount of pressure at that kind of depth.
And as there is no light at that kind of depth, animals are, more often than not, either blind or produce their own light. Therefore, this results in the romanticized ideas of anglerfish and deepsea jellyfish.
Note: One thing I learnt from my dad’s angler self – if you were to go to the beach during a clear night, with hardly any lighting, you’ll be able to see sea fungus and jellyfish light up from under the sea. I have yet to see such a sight, but it’ll be great to imagine first.
Before visitors got to the end of the exhibition, a video montage was broadcasted, showcasing undersea marine life and its vibrancy despite the darkness. This was later followed by research and studies done on conservation, and how ignorance of the fragility of undersea life is robbing the world of a valuable resource.
Curated by then wildlife and scientific film director Claire Nouvian, the exhibition aims to increase awareness of the rich life within the abyss. With careless fishing (trawling nets etc…), waste is piling against what is needed. And something needs to be done.
As mentioned by Dr Cindy Lee Van Dover, “More men have walked on the surface of the moon than have dived to the deepest part of our oceans.”
Perhaps it’s time for funds to be shifted to make new discoveries and alternatives which will save the world, one way or another.
The Deep exhibition is running in the ArtScience Museum until 27th October 2015. For more information, click here.