Sharks is a new blockbuster exhibition making its North American premiere at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Downtown Miami on Saturday, October 14, 2023. The bilingual exhibition, created by the Australian Museum, invites people of all ages into the underwater world of these amazing animals to explore their genetic diversity, territories, interactions, and significance to ocean ecosystems.
Highlighting the very latest science and with deep cultural overlays, Sharks explores the diversity of these ancient fishes. Often misunderstood and misrepresented, sharks are awe-inspiring and fear inducing creatures of the sea that have been around for 450 million years. As guests navigate the exhibition, they’ll encounter ten life-sized scientifically accurate models, including the now extinct 270-million-year-old Helicoprion (also known as the buzzsaw shark); the bull shark, which lives in fresh water for extended periods of time; and the great white shark, one of the most famous (and feared) species of shark.
A specially designed ‘oceanarium’ showcasing the majesty and power of sharks swimming through the ocean will create a dramatic immersive experience while other interactive displays allow you to navigate through a shark body via a 3-D interactive scan, adapt a shark to evolve and survive in different environments, and see the world in 360-degrees through the eyes of a hammerhead shark. The exhibition also features tactile displays and artifacts, including a megalodon jaw, shark skin recreations, a great white jawbone and tiger shark teeth.
The museum has partnered with shark experts from Florida International University’s Center for Coastal Oceans Research to highlight the incredible sharks found locally in Florida. The state is home to a diverse shark population that includes species ranging in size from only a few feet to more than 40 feet in length. Frost Science’s own neighborhood waterway, Biscayne Bay, has been identified as a “nursery” for the endangered hammerhead shark.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a quarter of the world’s sharks are threatened with extinction primarily due to climate change, industrial fishing and pollution damaging our oceans. It is estimated 100 million sharks are killed annually by the world’s fisheries. The exhibition presents the very latest information on conservation, sharks’ impact on oceans, and efforts to protect sharks, including those in Florida. Shark safety is also highlighted, enabling visitors to make informed choices.
“Sharks are charismatic and largely misunderstood animals. As the top predator in most marine ecosystems, sharks maintain balance within each of the communities they inhabit and yet, because of us their existence is under threat,” says Steven L. Bailey, vice president of biological programs at Frost Science. “We hope that through this exhibition and by observing and learning about the sharks in our Aquarium, guests will leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the important role they play
in ocean health. Our actions and attitudes toward sharks are critical to their survival, and perhaps indirectly, our own.”
Sharks will be on view from Saturday, October 14, 2023, through Sunday, April 21, 2024, inside the Hsiao Family Special Exhibition Gallery on the first floor of the museum. Admission to Sharks is included with all museum admission tickets. For more information on the exhibition, please visit frostscience.org/sharks.