Sci Museum of VA celebrates sharks with exhibits, film

July 30, 2009 – 1:23 pm

RVA News visits the Science Museum of Virginia and takes in all things shark including Giant Screen film, Sharks, now playing in the museum IMAX Dome theater.

In case you’re wondering, a shark kinda feels like a wet nose. (It’s cartilage, right?) And it turns out, the idea of petting a shark is better in theory than in practice for five year olds, at least the ones I accompanied. The loud excitement from the museum’s lobby retreated into hands in pockets and sheepish head-shaking when face-to-face with the actual fish. Of course the IMAX movie and its school-bus sized sharks scouring the ocean for lunch can temper enthusiasm a bit.

The IMAX experience is top-notch. The movie is informative and entertaining, able to appeal to a wide variety of ages and intellects. It reinforces the main purpose of the exhibit: to dispel lingering misconceptions about sharks and raise awareness about their endangered status.

The movie’s narrator—a winsome tortoise—explains that Industrial Man is the only real threat to the shark population, but a grave one. The last decade, according to the film, has seen an approximately 80% reduction in the worldwide shark population.

The movie may be disappointing for Jaws devotees or those who prefer Fox’s When Animals Attack. But it features plenty of cellos (which, I think, producers of shark movies are contractually obligated to include) and remarkable videography of various shark species.

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UPDATE: For more information on activities happening at the Science Museum of Virginia, check out the latest article from the Richmond Examiner:

Richmond Family Friendly Events Examiner: Summer fun for families at the Science Museum of Virginia