Vancouver Aquarium Luminescence/Japanese Sea Nettle

Awhile back, I featured the opening of the Luminescence exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium. Luminescence unleashes the many ways that animals create and reflect light in nature.

Vancouver Aquarium Luminescence/herring

Through several exhibits, the Aquarium hopes to answer questions to some of the phenomena of the creatures in our oceans. Bioluminescence is light produced by a chemical reaction which originates in an organism. When both luciferin (producing light) and luciferase (creating a reaction) combine, light is generated as result of the energy released through the combination.

Vancouver Aquarium Luminescence-5

For some animals bioluminescence works as a defense mechanism to startle or divert attention from predators, and can also help to recognize their mate. Lighting also aids in luring prey.

Fluorescence, on the other hand, occurs when light of one wavelength (or colour) is absorbed by a substance and is almost immediately re-emitted or transformed into another wavelength (or colour). Fluorescence requires a light source.

Electric eel
[Electric eel]

I returned over the weekend to check out the exhibits, watch Scuba Santa dive into the pool in search of missing Christmas bells, and experience The Polar Express in 4D.

All aboard for a 4D experience
[All aboard for a 4D experience]

Vancouver Aquarium Luminescence/Scuba Santa
[Scuba Santa]

I loved the experience of smelling hot chocolate and being in a winter scene complete with snowflakes. If you remember the animated film, this is a 15 minute version, captured with some pretty amazing effects.

Jelly Swarm, an interactive light installation

Luminescence is accompanied by Jelly Swarm, an interactive light installation created by Tangible Interaction, in collaboration with origami artist Joseph Wu.

Jelly Swarm, an interactive light installation Jelly Swarm, an interactive light installation

And while you’re at the Aquarium, don’t forget about the other great underwater creatures!

Vancouver Aquarium Luminescence/Waving hi Vancouver Aquarium Luminescence/Mom looks on at babies Vancouver Aquarium Luminescence-10 Luminescene at VanAqua-21 Vancouver Aquarium Luminescence-3

If you’re with small kids, you’ll want to coordinate your visit to see Scuba Santa at the Strait of Georgia exhibit. He makes an appearance on weekends at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm, and daily from December 19 to 24.

Vancouver Aquarium/Penguin Point

Luminescence runs through January 22, 2013.

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