The entrance of Planet Shark is through massive jaws open wide to a cavernous mouth lined with large triangular teeth. As I stare into the abyss forming the opening of this threatening prehistoric creature, I can’t help but imagine the plight of a small seal wondering into the predator’s lair.
Entering a dark exhibit hall, a large display chronicles the evolution of the shark. For those fascinated by sharks this is a wonderful interactive exhibit. Stand next to a great white shark and you will realize how massive this fish is. You can even stand inside a set of prehistoric jaws the opening of which is bigger than most humans.
After visiting Planet Shark: Predator or Prey at the Georgia Aquarium I realized the shark has received a great deal of negative publicity. The sharks’ population has decreased, which has been caused by over fishing and destruction of these animals fostered by their perceived danger to people.
Media and Movies Friend or Foe?
I’ll never forget the first time I saw the movie Jaws. The audience and I jumped during the many scenes when a deranged shark reeked havoc on a small coastal town. The release of this movie helped inflame the fear of the perception of sharks as a menace to humanity.
The media outlets sell more films, books, and magazines by playing on our primal fear of a terrifying fish displaying a mouth full of large teeth. After visiting this exhibit you will realize that many of these fears are unfounded. Discover how the media can sway opinions by the manner in which they present the issue of shark attacks.
I had a great laugh in the exhibit that pokes fun at the fear mongering media. A movie begins with a peaceful beach scene of families swimming in the warm inviting waters. Then the scary music begins and one of the bathers points toward the water and starts screaming.
Everyone races out of the water. After all are on the beach they turn toward the water to face their terrifying predator. The scene then turns to a toaster oven floating in the water. A caption below the toaster states more people will be killed by toaster ovens this year than have ever been killed by sharks.
A Great Exhibit at a Reasonable Price.
The Planet shark exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium explains many fascinating aspects of sharks from evolution to how they use unique senses to hunt their prey. My perception of these amazing animals has changed and has made me more skeptical about the media’s presentation of these wonderful creatures.
An $8 entrance fee is required on top of admission to the aquarium. This is an exhibit with replicas of sharks but none swimming around you. To see the large whale shark and other sharks you can visit the ocean reef exhibit. Some images may be disturbing for smaller children so plan accordingly.
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