Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum launches its new exhibition ‘Immersion’ – a virtual diving experience of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Propped on the side of the mythical Rock, the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, built in 1920, is a stunner. The Neo-Baroque building is home to a vast permanent collection which retraces a chunk of marine history through sea-related objects. The main draw, in the basement, is the famous aquarium which showcases thousands of fish, 200 families of invertebrates, and a giant 6-meter tank filled with several species of shark.
In line with the museum’s century-long mission of sharing knowledge of the oceans, the Oceanographic Institute regularly hosts temporary exhibitions designed to inspire the public to respond to environmental issues. This year’s ‘Immersion’ exhibition aims to raise the public awareness of the need to preserve the planet’s coral reef ecosystems.
The exhibition, designed using 3D video-gaming graphics, aims to plunge the visitor into the ecosystem of the largest coral reef on the planet: the Great Barrier Reef.
Forty video projectors output day and night scenarios onto 650 square meters of screen covering 3 walls and the floor. Apart from the reef-building corals the Great Barrier Reef’s main players are : manta ray, potato grouper, clownfish, humpback whale, whitetip reef shark, Humphead wrasse, giant clam and green sea turtle.
Over a real time of 30 minutes, state-of-the-art technology, such as matte painting and animated, textured 3D images, brings this underwater set to life. Additionally the movements, behaviour and physical appearance of each creature has been carefully studied by the graphic team so that the synthetic images tally to the real thing. Advanced ‘Boid’ software, which normally simulates the flocking behaviour of birds, was here adapted to closely imitate the movements of fish shoals. A composition of soothing whale song and coral reef sounds accompany the underwater scenes.
The ‘Immersion’ exhibition, running until late 2021, sets out to highlight the beauty and fragility of the marine biodiversity of the coral reefs.
Address: Avenue Saint Martin, 98000 Monaco
Tel: 377 93153600
Closed: 25 Dec & Formula 1 Grand prix weekend.
Ticket price Adult 16€/ children 4-17 years old 10€
The ticket price includes entry to both permanent and temporary exhibitions