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Exhibition Review: Life in the Dark at the Natural History Museum – 13th July 2018 to 6th January 2019
The Natural History Museum presents a new exhibition entitled Life in the Dark which explores the darkest corners of our world to find the remarkable animals that flourish in conditions that humans would struggle to survive.
The exhibition begins with a large animated display that invites visitors to recognise a familiar nocturnal world populated by owls, foxes and badgers. Unusually a number of the exhibits are there for people to touch and feel. Underlying the exhibition is how creatures have developed extraordinary senses and behaviours in order to survive and thrive in the dark.
Many will be familiar with some of the strategies that woodland creatures use to hunt at night especially bats use of echo location, however as you progress into the exhibition you descend into the more unfamiliar nocturnal worlds of caves, deep seas and oceans.
The exhibition recreates a bat cave with its distinctive aromas and sounds. It is within caves that hundreds of incredible creatures, some brand new to science have been discovered. This has been made possible with technological advances in diving equipment and knowledge of some of the most remote caves.
One of the highlights of the exhibition are live Mexican blind cave fish that have evolved other senses, so don’t need eyes to navigate. Film footage illustrates that cave diving can be very dangerous as recent events in Thailand have shown.
Technology has also played a part in allowing devices to descend deeper and deeper into the deep sea. Video screens show remarkable footage of unusual creatures including the rather comical Dumbo octopus.
At these depths, the use of light is often used to attract prey or fight off predators, one of the last galleries offers a bioluminescence display that recreates some of the extraordinary light displays that can be found in the dark abyss.
The final room brings visitors up to date with some of the latest research regarding creatures that have been discovered in the deep which is providing some answers into their strategies and behaviour.
This fascinating exhibition takes the visitors into the shadowy nocturnal worlds of the natural world. Using innovative installations, multimedia footage and specimens, the exhibition illustrates the astounding diversity of the natural world in areas that are often off limits to human beings. It is only recently that some of the secrets of the deep have been discovered and the exhibition provides some real insights into the exciting developments in this area.
Life in the Dark has been designed to be as interactive as possible and appeal to both adults and families, the exhibition is free for children 16 years and under with an adult.
Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended
If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the National History Museum website here
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