Summer Science Exhibition 2011
5-10 July | Free entry
A secret world beneath the waves
Many animals that live on the seabed have planktonic larvae. Find out the purpose of the spines on these crab larvae at the exhibit.
Come and see the largest plankton in the world! This exhibit begins with a 360-degree film exploring the world of the marine plankton that will transport visitors to a secret world beneath the waves. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough FRS, the film combines astonishing images and a newly commissioned musical score, to reveal how the marine plankton influence almost every aspect of our daily lives, and how current climate change is affecting their distributions and abundance with ensuing ramifications for the marine food chain and the ecology of our entire planet.
Although you will stay dry, this exhibit will immerse you in the plankton world. These organisms, smaller than the diameter of a human hair, have created the white cliffs of Dover, fuel our transport with their remains, have created half of the oxygen in the air, and ultimately, through the amazing plankton food web, underpin all sea life and play a central role in the global carbon cycle. You have probably swallowed countless thousands of these amazing creatures when swimming in the sea!
The science behind the Ocean Drifters will reveal how recently changing sea surface temperatures are altering the ecology of the seas off our coasts, changing the marine ecosystem from the seabed to the sea surface.
Dr Richard Kirby works at University of Plymouth.
Ocean Drifters is supported by The Rolex Institute, Carl Zeiss Ltd, Natural Environment Research Council, The Fishmongers' Company, and Valeport.
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Explore all 22 exhibits at this year's exhibition.
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Updates about our work on bringing the exhibition to life.
Highlights from past Summer Science Exhibitions