NIWA dives deep at Otago Museum exhibition

A NIWA ocean science display at Otago Museum's James Cameron – Challenging the Deep Exhibition is attracting keen public interest.

NIWA is a principal exhibition partner with Otago Museum, which earlier this year secured rights to host the exhibition.

Challenging the Deep showcases explorer and movie director James Cameron’s dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in a tiny submersible. The exhibition also includes footage from dives on the wrecks of the Titanic and Bismarck, and models, memorabilia and video clips from the film Titanic.

NIWA’s display is a celebration of the people, places and creatures involved in our marine research. The display features an array of imagery taken on voyages to Antarctica, the Kermadec Islands, and the Chatham Rise among other stunning research locations.

The exhibition also features a Virtual Reality (VR) experience created using 360˚ footage shot by NIWA researchers diving underneath Antarctic sea ice. The VR experience puts users into the fins of scientists preparing for and diving below the Ross Sea ice. 

Stuart Mackay, Digital Producer at NIWA, says the technology is a powerful new channel for communicating science.

“The under the ice VR experience transports users into a completely alien world. It’s a beautiful and surreal experience that has a strong scientific message. It’s been incredibly well received by the Dunedin public,” he says.

Fancy diving below the ice? Watch the 360˚ under the ice video here:

The James Cameron - Challenging the Deep exhibition runs until 9 February 2020.