TUCSON, Ariz. (June 1, 2023) - Featuring hands-on activities, dozens of species of fish, marine life and a touch tank, “Undersea Discovery” is now open to the public at Flandrau Science
Center & Planetarium on the University of Arizona campus. The exhibit takes visitors on a journey through Earth’s ocean zones, from the intertidal shoreline to the deepest depths of the sea, while exploring the wonders of marine science along the way. Come interact with live ocean creatures and explore the wonders of marine science at “Undersea Discovery” – a fun addition to educational experiences in Tucson this summer and beyond.
Admission to science exhibits is required with regular rates of $8 for kids and $12 for adults with discounts available for EBT cardholders, seniors, college ID holders, and military. Planetarium shows are sold separately. Flandrau is located at 1601 East University Blvd and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The touch tank is expected to be a crowd favorite of the exhibit. This experience introduces visitors to a variety of creatures from the Earth’s intertidal zone. A trained Flandrau staff member will share interesting facts about the inhabitants (like pink sea cucumbers and the green brittle star) and teach guests how to safely hold them for a brief time. Touch tank experience times are listed at www.flandrau.org/undersea-discovery.
Three large salt-water aquariums are home to a diverse variety of colorful fish and other marine life from various ocean habitats. At the coral reef tank, visitors will encounter colorful specimens of coral and stunning fish including clownfish and blue hippo tangs (popularized in the film Finding Nemo). The open ocean aquarium houses eels and a variety of fish found in open waters while the kelp forest tank features seahorses and other animals that prefer these underwater forests.
PLANETARIUM SHOW: “EXPEDITION REEF”
Visitors can immerse themselves in the all-new “Expedition Reef” planetarium show with purchase of a separate show ticket. This full-dome film reveals in exquisite detail the breathtaking beauty and biodiversity of coral reefs—and the scientists taking action to restore them. Planetarium show tickets are $8 for kids and $12 for adults with discounts available for EBT cardholders, seniors, college ID holders, and military.
INTERACTIVE HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES AND DISPLAYS
Microscope Projection Station – Investigate the minute structures of the ocean’s tiniest dwellers through a special microscope. A live feed of the microscope is projected overhead for all guests to enjoy.
Ocean Rescue Game – Help your species survive and roleplay as a greater yellowlegs shorebird, green sea turtle, or bottlenose dolphin. Learn about their unique roles in the ocean ecosystem as you navigate plastic bags, trash, and oil spills in this digital, touchscreen game.
Giant Squid (sculpture) – See eye-to-huge-eye with this 25-foot-long male giant squid sculpture, made to scale, and learn about these mysterious creatures.
Ocean Sounds Game – Participants find out if they can identify whales, seals, orcas, and other ocean animals by their interesting sounds they make underwater and on land.
Midnight zone – Day or night, it’s always dark in the very depths of the ocean. Here, visitors learn about the special adaptations that creatures like vampire squids and angler fish need to live under immense pressure.
Intertidal I-Spy Game - Grab a friend (or fellow visitor) and play this classic guessing game using a series of clues and prompts to guess the correct specimen from a variety of ocean artifacts from sperm whale tooth to a stingray spine.