As far as you know, the ocean blue is inhabited with affable dolphins, charming turtles, technicolour corals and other graceful sea creatures. But a basin as vast as this that stretches over the lion’s share of the planet and goes deeper than 11,000 metres can’t possibly be short of sea monsters whose form and features take after that of aliens.
Titled The Deep, ArtScience Museum introduces a new exhibition featuring more than 40 deep-sea dwellers (all of which are dead specimens, regrettably). Replicating the experience of going down under where light is scarce, the exhibition will be presented in near darkness.
Claire Nouvian, the curator of the exhibition, began feeding her curiosity of these phantasmagorical critters in 2001 by reaching out to more than 300 marine biologists to collect snapshots and samples of the fauna, which culminated in an encyclopaedia published in 2006. Her work has now crystallised into an exhibition, where the aquatically uninitiated may come into close proximity with the freakiest of abyssal organisms.
Here are seven such species that’ll make your hair stand on end and your blood run cold.
1. Stoplight Loosejaw
This little fish, which grows up to 24cm long, hasn’t got a faulty jaw – it’s supposed to look dislocated.
2. Lobster Larva
A lobster is quite the ordinary creature, often considered a rich man’s fare. But before it becomes a red, hard-shelled crustacean, it is a translucent, thin, and threatening-looking larva.
An anglerfish with the ghostilest of visages, the Dreamer is one that would more likely invade your nightmares.
Though a midget that doesn’t get any larger than 18cm, it’s armed with razor-edged choppers, making it a vicious predator you won’t want to throw down the gauntlet to.
5. Slender Snipe Eel
Think run-of-the-mill eels are eerie? Try a deep-sea Snipe Eel, with jaws the form of curved, elongated beaks.
6. Tube-eye Fish
Look into its bulging “don’t-mess-with-me” eyes, and you’ll see your life flash before you.
7. Giant Isopod
There are crustaceans that some find cute. And then, there are crustaceans that bear semblance to the spawn of satan – much like this 40cm-long woodlouse.
Tickets to the The Deep may be acquired here.
Date: Now till October 2015
Venue: ArtScience Museum
Admission: $8 (Children of 2 to 12 years), $11.80 (Senior citizens), $14 (Adults)
Photos by Angela Low/Popspoken