The Shedd Aquarium has a long history of making people think about the aquatic world around them in new ways. Sometimes, it’s geared towards environmentalism and conservation, as with their SheddTheStraw campaign, still in full force, and exhibits like Washed Ashore that highlight the damage being done to our oceans and waterways every day. Other times the focus is on certain types of animals – like jellies, amphibians or stingrays. This time, though, it’s about the natural art of the the world’s lakes, rivers and oceans. Underwater Beauty was developed and designed entirely in house, and hopes to immerse its visitors in the splendors of the world under the surface in order to emphasize the importance of conserving and saving it.
Announced in late February, Underwater Beauty will be the Shedd Aquarium’s newest exhibit, and a surprisingly diverse one, which is planned to feature over 100 species, and focusing for the first time on the patterns of natural beauty in our waters. Opening May 25th, Underwater Beauty will devote its space to five different rooms which feature color, patterns, shimmer, rhythm and one promising to “move you.” There will be multi-sensory offerings that include sound and tactile experiences, and each room will be geared towards projecting a particular mood that reflects its theme.
“Underwater Beauty is an evocative and immersive experience meant to astound the senses,” said Kris Nesbitt, Senior Director of Exhibits and Experience Development. “Everywhere guests look, there will be something new to appreciate. We hope guests leave the exhibit feeling inspired by the amazing beauty found underwater.”
The ocean’s always seemed almost an alien world – with thousands of species of all shapes, colors and sizes dwelling in the depths and new ones to discover all the time. It’s full of so much texture, color, light and dark that few people get to truly see. If Underwater Beauty delivers on its premise, this exhibit should truly take your breath away.
It’s a bit of a departure for the Shedd, but an interesting one, and we’re curious to see how it unfolds when the exhibit opens. Shedd Aquarium members will get a week’s worth of a sneak peek beginning May 18th, but the exhibit opens (with no special fee) to the public at large on May 25th. For more information on Underwater Beauty, click here.