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Earth: An Immersive Journey opens at ROM June 1

May 29, 2024 | Entertainment

Feel the grandeur of nature at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in nearby Toronto this summer with the mesmerizing exhibition Earth: An Immersive Journey. Engaging the senses of sight, sound and smell, guests will vividly experience five diverse Earth ecosystems. Running from June 1 until Jan. 12, 2025, content for this exhibition was produced and created by Sensory Odyssey Studio and co-produced with the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris.

Visitors will join in on a wonderous global adventure, descending through a tropical forest canopy, voyaging to lush forest ecosystems alive with darting bats, peering into hidden world of soil dwellers, roaming arid grasslands alive with insects, and venture to the remote and majestic far north. Guests will be quickly enveloped by the living world as presented in ultra-high-definition, hyper-realistic 8K-resolution video projections shot specifically for this exhibition in pristine locations across the world in 2020 and 2021. Augmented with spatial sounds and subtle scents this exhibition will create an incredible perceptual experience melding visual poetry with cutting-edge technology.

“As I conduct biodiversity research in some of the most remote corners of the world, I am confronted with how rapidly natural ecosystems are changing due to humanity’s footprint,” says Dr. Nathan Lujan, Associate Curator of Fishes and ROM’s lead curator for this exhibition. “Knowledge alone is not motivating us to take corrective action, we must feel a visceral emotional connection to these places and species to envision and manifest a new future in which they are secure. This, to me, is what Earth: An Immersive Journey is about.”

Ecosystem Section Highlights
High Up in the Canopy presents a dense tree canopy comprised of diverse tropical trees and vegetation, offering a protective home to a surprising array of jungle life including a sloth, Actaeon beetle, Amazon tree boa snake and fireflies. This section displays 360° floor-to-ceiling projections for a sense of complete immersion as animals move around and reveal their camouflaged presence. Habitats are presented through time-lapse photography showing the profuse growth of flowers and fruits, while visitors are enveloped in ambient scents of wood, lush vegetation, and ripening fruits.

On the Bat Trail takes visitors into the damp wilderness, home of the common serotine bat, an insectivorous species from temperate forest regions. Experience the life of bats among the trees and sky as perceived through echolocation, illuminating their world shaped by waves of sound and the woody scent of the forest.

Going Underground begins a journey delving below the Earth’s surface to a world of fascinating but overlooked organisms that participate in creating life-sustaining soil, throughout a sinewy root network connecting trees, plants, and fungi. This is the temperate underground world of moles, ants, earthworms, soil mites, bacteria, protozoans, and nematodes and reveals their collective influence extending upward above the surface to benefit the sunlight gathering foliage. There, tiny animals emerge to scurry and wiggle about and protruding mushroom caps extend from their subterranean fungal mass. This hidden world of terra firma is quietly revealed through evocative sounds from underfoot, along with smells of decomposing leaves and freshly turned earth.

Grassland Insects delves into a macro view of meadow grasses that are teeming with rich and complex flora and fauna. This section reveals crawling gendarmes, aphids, beetles, praying mantis, spiders and the impressive aerial performances of butterflies, damselflies, and bees, all viewed in extreme close-ups with wafting scents of flowers, honey, and grass.

To the End of the World lands visitors into the sublime world of Greenland’s beautiful arctic landscapes. Scattered across expanses of floating ice, drifting snow and barren rock, visitors will encounter a world populated by species adapted to the extreme conditions of coastal and offshore environments. This is the habitat of arctic foxes, seals, humpback whales, migratory birds such as dovekies and arctic terns. This foreboding and rarely visited panorama is experienced through 180° projections of wide-open arctic spaces, and the feeling of wind-swept vistas tinged with the smell of salty arctic sea breezes.

Members will have the first opportunity to attend Earth: An Immersive Journey during the Member Preview on Friday, May 31, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, June 1, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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