Before the advent of humankind, whales roamed the oceans unfettered by humans and dangerous, man-made noises. It is said that back then, a whale in the Pacific Ocean could hear a whale singing in the Atlantic Ocean. What a world that must have been.
Sadly, those days are long gone and we have become far removed from our huge mammal friends. But the Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) wants to change that. The GRPM’s Whales: Giants of the Deep exhibition’s unique blend of science, storytelling, and innovative interactivity gives visitors the opportunity to discover more about the world of whales.
Featuring two fully-articulated sperm whale skeletons, including an impressive 58-foot male, Whales showcases amazing and rare specimens from New Zealand’s Te Papa Museum’s whale collection, one of the largest in the world. Visitors will see life-size and scale models of whales common to the South Pacific as well as contemporary whalebone treasures such as weapons and chiefly adornments.
They’ll also learn about whale biology, the extraordinary evolutionary journey of whales from land to sea, and the history of whaling in New Zealand.
Children can even crawl through a life-size replica of the heart of a blue whale, the Earth’s largest living creature.
Interactive, immersive, and featuring the latest in international cetacean research, Whales: Giants of the Deep is an experience that brings adults and children eye to eye with some of the world’s most elusive creatures.
Here are some of the exhibition highlights:
- See life-size and scale models of whales common to the South Pacific, including a beaked whale skull and a massive 58-foot, fully-articulated sperm whale skeleton.
- Learn about the intricacies of whale biology, the history of whaling in New Zealand, and efforts being made by scientists and others to protect whales from threats of entanglement, shipping and sonar use, and the continuation of whaling practices in some parts of the world.
- View casts of fossil whale ancestors, which show the evolutionary journey of whales from land to sea, as well as contemporary whalebone treasures such as weapons and chiefly adornments.
- Encounter whales through video portholes, be transported into their underwaterworld via two immersive projections, and enjoy a moving film experience that tells the stories of three whale-riding traditions in New Zealand, including the famous story of Paikea featured in Whale Rider.
- See ancient and contemporary works of art and hear stories from people of the South Pacific illustrating the powerful influence these creatures have had on human culture.
- Tune in to a range of whale sounds and discover how scientists and amateur trackers identify individual whales on their migration through the Pacific Ocean.
- Gain a true appreciation of the physical and behavioral traits that enable whales to make a living in the challenging and dynamic marine environment.
- Walk among the giant—and not-so-giant—articulated skeletons of an astoundingly diverse collection of whale specimens, and then explore the evolutionary paths that gave rise to this unique group of mammals.
Beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 22, Whales: Giants of the Deep tickets will be $2 for member adults and children, and $13 for non-member adults and $8 for non-member children. Admission to Whales: Giants of the Deep includes general admission to the Museum. Get tickets here.
Come to the Special Opening Party, Saturday, Oct. 22 from 9 am to 2 pm.
Visitors of all ages will have first access to the exhibit at this party coming eye to eye with some of the world’s most elusive creatures. Featuring two fully-articulated sperm whale skeletons, visitors are able to see life-size and scale models of whales common to the South Pacific, discover how scientists identify whales on their migration process and interact with a life-size replica of a blue whale, the world’s largest living creature.
Tickets to this event will include admission to the exhibit, as well as hands-on activities and performances including live animals from the John Ball Zoo, performances by traditional Maori dancers, admission to Dynamic Earth in the Museum’s Chaffee Planetarium and lunch.
Use your ticket for lunch between 11 am and 1:30 pm to eat lunch at the Museum. Lunch will include hot dogs, chips, fruit with a drink and dessert.
TICKETS FOR THE PARTY ARE ON SALE NOW! Go here.
Non-members: Receive incredible savings for the Opening Party! Purchase a one year family membership plus 4 tickets to the event for only $80 (saving $57). To purchase a membership package call 616.456.3977.
Members are $10 for adults and FREE for member children. Non-member event-only tickets are $18 for adults and $13 for children. Limited tickets available.