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TOKYO

‘The Deep’ to feature ocean’s oddities

by Magdalena Osumi

Staff Writer

While some companies have started to offer trips to the Moon, there is still more to be discovered hidden on our own planet.

The depths of the ocean still hold a trove of mysteries. At a distance between 200 meters and 10,000 meters from the surface, some of these places literally haven’t seen the light of day, a vast final frontier that Earth has yet to reveal.

One treasure in this world of unknown species and creatures will soon be within the reach of people in Tokyo.

The National Museum of Nature and Science is holding an exhibition titled “Shinkai (The Deep),” which begins this weekend. It is set to feature wonders discovered during recent research expeditions in waters near Japan, including areas of the Pacific and Indian oceans.

One of the main attractions of the exhibition is a giant squid, which was filmed for the first time in its natural habitat near the Ogasawara Islands in 2012.

The organizers will show the footage, captured during last year’s expedition by Japanese broadcaster NHK and the National Museum of Nature and Science. It was part of a highly acclaimed documentary titled “Shinkai no Cho Kyodai Ika” (“Deep Ocean Giant Squid”) — a project 10 years in the making. NHK and the U.S.-based Discovery Channel aired the footage to much fanfare in January.

In relation to the exhibition, NHK will broadcast “Series: Shinkai no Kyodai Seibutsu” (“Deep Ocean Creatures”) on July 27 and 28.

A model of the whole body of the squid, which measures 18 meters when fully extended, will also be on display.

The exhibition will also feature a full-size model of Japan’s manned submersible survey vehicle, the Shinkai 6500, and more than 380 samples of other deep sea creatures.

One of these creatures might look familiar to those who prefer to spend their time relaxing at an izakaya (Japanese pub). However on closer look, even someone who has had a few too many will realize that it’s not a red paper lantern hanging there, but the red lantern jellyfish.

The exhibition features activities for children to take part in, too.

“The Deep” runs from July 6 until Oct. 6 at The National Museum of Nature and Science in Taito-ku, Tokyo. The museum is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. (until 8 p.m on Fridays). The museum is usually closed Mondays, but if Monday is a national holiday the museum will close Tuesday instead. The museum will be open on Mondays during August, and some days will see later closing times (6 p.m.). Tickets cost ¥1,300 for adults, ¥500 for children in advance. For more information, call 030-5777-8600 or visit deep-sea.jp (in Japanese) or www.kahaku.go.jp.