The Museum of Nature in Ottawa is the host of a very special exhibit: Creatures of Light: Nature's Bioluminescence, which opens this weekend and runs until November. This is a must-see exhibit that is sure to dazzle and amaze. It makes my biologist heart sing! Bioluminescence is defined as the generation of light by living things.
I was invited to the media preview earlier this week and I'm so grateful. Being able to hear directly from the museum's CEO and the scientists who helped put together the exhibit was incredible. It's obvious just how excited and proud they are, and rightfully so: it's an exhibit full of wonder.
Up on the fourth floor, you enter a dark room with glowing words welcoming you to the exhibit and black lights illuminating everyone who enters. We had fun under the black lights.
|Glowing Little K and Little J.|
I really liked learning about dinoflagellates, single-celled organisms that predate the dinosaurs, that makes oceans, lakes and rivers glow, and walking along a path lit up with flashes of light. There was a spot where you can use white light and fluorescent light to illuminate a coral reef and see how the different lights make different things visible.
The most incredible thing to see, in my opinion, was the live flashlight fish. These fish have an organ underneath their eyes that have a bacteria that bioluminesce, and in the dark it looks a lot like Spiderman's eyes glowing out at you. The fish were taken during a new moon off the coast of Japan and brought back to Canada. Why a new moon? Because the fish don't like moonlight and during a new moon it's dark and they come closer to the surface where they socialize and eat. An exhibit planned around a new moon was a first for the museum.
|Enthralled by the presentation on deep sea creatures.|
|You're lucky it's so dark and you can hardly make out the super scary angler fish.|
|The zones of the ocean.|
To see this exhibit there is a surcharge of $8 for adults and $6 for children aged 3-12, though there are special "glow moments" throughout the museum that are included in the regular price of admission. One of the glow moments is located on the main floor near the coat check (past the gates and to the right). It's a graffiti glow booth that my kids absolutely loved. You grab a can and "spray" light onto the walls to create glowing messages and images. Such fun!
|Share your graffiti with the world using #CreaturesofLight.|
|Making glow graffiti.|
|Bioluminescence. May 3 - November 9th.|
|My kids and their Mimi.|
P.S. Check us out in the Ottawa Citizen!
Disclosure: I was able to preview this incredible exhibit but was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.