The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and the SERPENT project have contributed to a major new exhibition at the Natural History Museum, which opens this Friday (28 May).
The Deep, which runs until 5 September follows oceanographic exploration, from the HMS Challenger expedition of the Victorian era, seen as the birth of modern oceanography, to the present day, where Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) technology allows us to film the weird and exotic creatures thousands of metres below the surface.
Professor Phil Weaver, a member of the NOC Board who has spent much of his career working on deep-sea projects, will spoke at the exhibition opening. He said: "The increasing use of sophisticated Remotely Operated Vehicles, coupled with greatly improved cameras has led to a revolution in our understanding of the Deep. A new and fascinating world is gradually emerging, that is complex, sometimes beautiful, and in many cases remarkably fragile. This environment has been described as ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and unfortunately is already being impacted by humans. It is exhibitions such as The Deep that can make this hidden world come alive and inspire people to take an interest in their planet and the impact we are having on it."
The NOC’s Puffersphere, a giant illuminated globe showing new visualisations of changes in sea temperature, the movement of currents and the topography of the ocean floor, will provide one the focal points of the exhibition, which also features a large model and a skeleton of a sperm whale. The complex ecosystem that develops around a ‘whale-fall’, the carcass of one of the animals after it has settled on the seafloor, is a central element in the exhibition.
The NOC-based SERPENT Project (Scientific and Environmental ROV Partnership using Existing iNdustrial Technology) is a collaboration with the gas and oil industry providing scientists with access to cameras mounted on cutting-edge ROVs that provide compelling footage of sea life in oceans around the world.
For more information, visit: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/thedeep/index.html.
To visit the SERPENT website, go to: www.serpentproject.com