Sea Creatures is a groundbreaking new exhibition that allows visitors to explore the secrets of life beneath the ocean waves through incredible cross-sections of marine animals. Full body specimens include whales, penguins and great white sharks, and visitors can also get an up-close glimpse into the complex organs and body parts of a large number of species.
The painstakingly preserved displays use the same plastination process developed by Dr. Gunther von Hagens and made famous by artist Damien Hirst, replacing fluids and soluble fats with resins and allowing us to view incredibly accurate ‘cross-sections’ of the creatures.
Learn about the complex life systems within these majestic creatures, as well as why we need to protect precious ocean life.
Featuring over 200 exhibits – packed with digital and interactive features – here are just some of the highlights…
Haihai (meaning ‘Sea Sea’), a baby Minke whale, is one of the star features of the Sea Creatures exhibition. At 3.08 metres high, 6.3 metres in length, 2.55 metres in chest circumference and weighing in at 3000kg, Haihai certainly makes a splash!
Haihai also holds two world records – for the world’s first plastinated ocean mammal, and the world’s first plastinated specimen of a whale displaying its internal organs and structure.
Come face to face with this 5.1-metre long whale shark – one of the largest marine animals in the ocean – and learn more about these incredible creatures. For instance, did you know that a whale shark’s life span is similar to that of a human being – between 70 and 100 years? Or that each whale shark has its own unique pattern of spots, much like human fingerprints?
Get up close and personal with our 3.6-metre long great white shark – one of the ocean’s apex predators.
Great whites can dive to depths of up to 1200 metres and have an excellent sense of smell – they can detect one drop of blood in 100 litres of water!
This is your chance to see inside one of the oceans most captivating creatures – the sunfish. Female sunfish can produce more eggs than any other known vertebrate in the world – up to 300 million at a time! The name refers to their habit of basking in sunlight at the water surface – although in actual fact they spend more time hunting at depth.
Manta rays can reach up to 1,350kg in weight, and have distinct spots and blotches on their underside, which help researchers to identify and count their numbers. The brain of the Manta Ray is the largest in proportion to its body than any other fish, and rays display intelligent behaviour such as coordinated and cooperative feeding.
All dolphin species have streamlined bodies, and modified front limbs to form flippers, making them extremely efficient swimmers. All have a layer of blubber to insulate them against the cold of the water. Males will mate with multiple females in one year, whilst females tend only to mate every two to three years, producing an offspring for which they bear sole responsibility in the spring/summer. Dolphins are regarded as one of the most intelligent animals on earth. They are highly social animals and communicate effectively with one another using a series of clicks and whistles, as well as potentially jumping and spinning out of the water. Dolphins sleep with one side of their brain at a time.
Our ‘MRI Scan’-style sliced shark allows you to view what’s inside a shark’s full body in incredible detail. Learn more about the anatomy of this amazing creature, as well as why sharks are such a vital part of our marine
There are nearly 300 species of octopus. The common octopus can change colour to camouflage itself, has 3 hearts and a copper-based blue blood. They have 8 arms with suction cups and have completely soft bodies, apart from a beak. Octopuses have been shown to be highly intelligent, having a complex nerve system and good eyesight, For example they are able to tell how bright an object is, to distinguish different shapes, and to determine the size of objects. The octopus has a short lifespan ranging from one to two years. Male octopuses only live a few months after mating and female octopuses essentially starve to death during the time that they care for their eggs before they hatch.
They get their name from their lack of dorsal fin, instead having a ridge of bumps along their back. These animals often travel in groups of 3-6, but up to 50 individuals have been seen at once in the Yangtze River, although they usually only travel in pairs in Japanese waters. They are active swimmers but not showy like dolphins, instead usually swimming just below the surface and simply rolling to one side for each breath. Young are born over spring, summer and winter depending on exact location, following a 10-11 month gestation, roughly once every 2 years. They then feed on their mother’s milk until the age of 6-15 months.
Apart from the amazing real life physical specimen, the sea creature exhibition packed with many digital interactive features, to give you a truly interactive and immersive experience. You will always find something to do in the exhibition whatever age you are…
Prepare for a sensory experience like no other as you venture through our holographic walkway, complete with authentic scents of the ocean.
Download our free mobile app, follow the map and hunt for objects throughout the exhibition. Unlock cards within the app to learn more about each species.
Explore the depths through unique games built especially for this exhibition on our giant, interactive tables.
Watch some of the world’s most marvellous marine creatures in their natural habitat on the big screen in our special, in-exhibition cinema.
Through advanced virtual reality technology, you can dive deep beneath the waves for yourself and experience life in the ocean as if you were really there.
Our giant, digitally enabled ball pit – with 10,000 balls – is equipped with interactive wall games, allowing children to learn about marine conservation through play.