The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) announced today that a new exhibition entitled Whales: Giants of the Deep will open on Saturday, October 22, 2016. Interactive, immersive and featuring the latest in international cetacean research, this exhibit is an experience that brings adults and children eye to eye with some of the world’s most elusive creatures.

Featuring two fully-articulated sperm whale skeletons, including an impressive 58-foot male, Whales: Giants of the Deep showcases amazing and rare specimens from New Zealand’s Te Papa’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, including a beaked whale skull created by Weta Workshop and ancient and contemporary whalebone treasures such as weapons and chiefly adornments.

The Whale Lab portion of the exhibition is full of interactive science. Children can crawl through a life-size replica of the largest living creature’s heart – the blue whale. The extraordinary evolutionary journey of whales from land to the sea is shown by casts of fossil whale ancestors. Animated renderings of these early forebears show how the transition of leaving the land and completely adapting to a life in the sea. Visitors can 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. The Whale Lab also features ‘Search & Destroy’, an experience that takes visitors to the ocean depths with a sperm whale on a hunt in search of giant squid, recreated from real data and sounds collected directly from a real sperm whale!

Whales: Giants of the Deep was previously exhibited at the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Field Museum, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Tickets for Whales: Giants of the Deep will go on sale later this summer. There will be a minimal additional change to visit this exhibit. Plans for an opening event for Whales: Giants of the Deep are currently in the works for Saturday, October 22. Details will be announced in July 2016. Additional programming can be found online at grpm.org.

This exhibition was made possible through the support of the New Zealand Government and the Smithsonian Institution.