Image via Invision AP Diane Bondareff
At times, we New Yorkers become so entwined with city life that we forget about the magnificent world outside of our grand metropolis. Luckily, National Geographic has made it its mission to remind us: Encounter: Ocean Odyssey, a first-of-its kind entertainment experience exhibiting the sea and its creatures, will open this Friday in Times Square. This virtual exhibition plunges visitors into the depths of the Pacific Ocean without getting wet or leaving the city. Ocean Odyssey provides the perfect balance of exploration, entertainment, and science for a unique learning experience:
Visitors begin their ocean adventure by descending the escalator through blue mist into the basement of the building, where a virtual ocean awaits. Then they must navigate a series of different rooms, each providing a unique aqua-experience. The first room presents a live-motion show of dolphins, sea turtles, and other fish elegantly swimming among the reefs. It also includes an interactive portion: fish actually swim from the front screen to the floor and will dash away if stepped on.
The next few sections exemplify eerier sides of the ocean. Visitors explore the bioluminescent depths where all types of glowing coral and fish reside. Again, the floor is interactive: guests can trigger the bioluminescence of plants and animals by simply waving an arm over them. This room is followed by a pitch black audio-experience, where the audience may sit and enjoy echoing swishes and calls of various deep sea creatures.
Next, comes a deep-sea duel between giant squids, only escapable through a maze of kelp. While this may not sound so scary, each sucker on these squids is lined with razor sharp teeth, giving them up to 35,000 chompers in total. Once the battle is finished, however, guests get to enjoy an interactive sea lion experience. These friendly creatures will twirl, spin, and dance with whoever stands before them. What better way to cool off after a squid attack?
The exhibit finishes with a 3D show featuring schools of fish, penguins, sharks, and gargantuan humpback whales. There is also a photo op screen, offering guests the chance to take a picture with a variety of ocean creatures. Guests are then able to listen to educational videos, and view various exhibits and art pieces regarding ocean life and conservation.
Upon exiting the exhibit, all have the option to make a difference by pledging to help save our oceans. The National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey experience, along with being fun, ultimately has a loftier goal: ocean conservation. In this exhibit, National Geographic creates entertainment that matters, and uses it as an educational tool for children, students, and adults alike.
Guests will come away from this experience with a greater respect, knowledge, and admiration for and about our oceans. The Ocean Odyssey, on 226 W 44th Street between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue, will open Friday, October 6th, with adult tickets priced at $39.50.