There is a new addition to the South Florida scenery. The South Florida Science Museum has been revamped and revived with a new Science Center and Aquarium.
Worth $5 million, the new ‘Aquariums of the Atlantic’ gallery is like stepping right into the ocean. There are 8000 gallons of water within a 2500 square foot exhibit area. Visitors will be captivated by 14 tanks, close to 100 species of fish and marine life from nurse sharks to barracudas to clownfish and blue tangs and a variety of deep sea fish and fresh water fish.
The man behind this magical transformation is Lew Crampton who really wants this center to stand out and become a popular attraction that will draw a record number of regular crowds on a daily basis. The same company that built the Fort Lauderdale Aquarium, Living Color Enterprises, was awarded the tough task of making this a reality.
Kids will be able to enjoy a shipwreck and a touch tank where they can pet the fish. Some of the new water-bound residents of this aquarium are hand-picked right here from the South Florida waters. It is also a learning experience as visitors can witness what it takes to keep the tanks clean and keep the fish healthy. There is even a back-up generator in case of a hurricane. Just like the roller coaster at an amusement park, one of the best parts of the South Florida aquarium is a unique, pop-inside tank that is basically two cylinders, one inside the other. The space between them is filled with water and you duck underneath into the inner cylinder and colorful reef fish swim around your head, within inches of your face. It’s a 360-degree visual of what it would be like to be a fish.
In addition to permanent surroundings, there is also the ability to house traveling exhibits. The current exhibition is “Savage Ancient Seas: The Ancient Aquatic Deep,”. See the jaws of the carcharodon megalodon, an extinct species of shark that grew more than 50-feet long and had huge teeth, and the skeleton of the extinct archelon ischyros, the largest of all sea turtles at an estimated 4,500 pounds.
The world of ocean and science unite with the hurricane simulator that can generate 100 mph winds and make you feel as if you are experiencing it first-hand. ‘Science on a Sphere’ by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, is a 6-foot sphere that can show what hurricanes look like from outer space or the solar flares on the sun or give you a glimpse into climate change over the past 500 years. This exhibit is made possible by the Quantum Foundation.
Crampton wants everyone to be able to visit the sea and learn the story of its habitat in marine surroundings. Whether you are young or old or in between, see the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium and tell all your friends. Hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6:00 p.m. Address is 4801 Dreher Trail North, West Palm Beach, Fl 33405 (561) 832-1988. Opening day was Friday, June 7, 2013.