Newport Aquarium is set to launch a new immersive exhibit – RIng of Fire – highlighting life at the extraordinary Pacific Rim.
Newport Aquarium has announced the opening of its new immersive exhibit in March 2018. Ring of Fire explores the extraordinary Pacific seascape of looming volcanoes and deep ocean trenches – and the mysterious creatures that survive and thrive there.
The new exhibit highlights animals that have been most requested by visitors. These include the giant Pacific octopus, Japanese spider crabs and a moon jellyfish breeding programme.
“The ecology and the biology around the Ring of Fire is one of the most intriguing elements of the oceans,” says Eric Rose, Newport Aquarium Executive Director. “It’s fascinating how awesome Mother Nature and the ocean are to have animals that thrive in that turbulent environment.”
The new space will introduce visitors to some of the most extraordinary creatures in the ocean. These animals have to adapt constantly as the ecosystem around them changes. So, amongst other behaviours, they are able to shift shape, change colour and shed their exoskeletons.
The exhibit is inspired by the spectacular volcanic eruptions and earthquakes that typify this extraordinary area where fire meets water. Glowing light and rumbling sound help to create an immersive feel – showing guests how seismic activity created the undulating sea floor, caves and rock formations.
Ring of Fire features three zones, highlighting three incredible species. Guests walk through an arched rock portal into a cave-like space. Here they explore the Octopus Den. Guests learn how the extraordinary Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is able to camouflage itself and even change shape. They can further explore the highly intelligent species through a series of videos and interactive displays.
Next, an all-new custom display showcases hundreds of the beautiful moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita). The picture window display begins only inches off the ground, making the stunning display of the mesmerising ethereal creatures accessible to even the smallest visitors.
Japanese spider crabs (Macrocheira kaempferi) are featured in a cylindrical tank. This allows visitors 360-degree access to watch these ocean giants explore. Wall graphics show the full size of the species and allows for fun photo opportunities. Japanese spider crabs can grow up to 12 feet long from claw to claw in the wild – the largest crabs in the world. They can also live up to 100 years.
The new exhibit was launched with an enigmatic teaser.
Local news station WCPO received a model volcano complete with Haiku:
The moons shine brightly
Deep ocean trenches and caves
Where fire meets water