One Ocean Our Future immersive exhibition

The museum

One Ocean Our Future at the Australian National Maritime Museum

A new exhibition at the Australian National Maritime Museum explores the direct impact of ocean health on all life on earth. Although relatively unexplored, the ocean’s vast influence on weather, atmosphere, food supply, culture, society and biodiversity means that ocean health is crucial to the future of our planet.

One Ocean Our Future is an immersive experience where visitors explore the wonders of our ocean, the impacts of current unsustainable practices, and our progress towards a more sustainable future.

Curator Emily Jateff said, ‘This exhibition showcases what is happening in the world’s ocean right now. The Australian National Maritime Museum’s goal is to inform and educate through objects and stories. We do this in One Ocean, Our Future to share advancements in science, governments and communities, and what needs to happen to ensure a healthy ocean for future generations.’


WONDERS – let’s appreciate what there is to lose

Cinema-scale vision captures the rich beauty and diversity of Australia’s marine life, filmed by deep sea ROV SuBastian on Schmidt Ocean Institute expeditions around Australia in 2020-21. The film invites visitors to join the thrilling moments when scientists see extraordinary, rare and new species for the first time.

In a 3D interactive aquarium, visitors can meet a dumbo octopus, faceless cusk eel, catshark, ram’s horn squid and nautilus. Use gesture control to ‘catch’ and inspect them up close, learn about their habits, environment and how changes in the ocean threaten their survival.

EVIDENCE – what’s happening and how it’s all connected

Stunning graphics present images, data and stories of the interrelationships and impacts of climate and ocean change on WEATHER, HABITATS, ICE and of the effects of PLASTIC on the ocean and us.

Visitors look through microscopes to see micro-plastics in local beach sand, seawater, washing machine outflows and the flesh of molluscs.

WITNESSES – it affects us all as individuals, cultures and societies

Recorded voices of people from around the world who are experiencing the impact of climate and ocean change on their life and existence populate the space. Their stories – from Canada and the Torres Strait Islands, to Florida and Siberia – feature throughout the exhibition.

Stunning works of art, from First Nations cultures of Australia and the Pacific, provide cultural commentary on how the changing climate and ocean is affecting their life and society, sounding a warning about ocean change from the most vulnerable places on earth.

SCIENCE – measuring and revealing the ocean

Stories and museum artefacts showcase the role of oceanography in understanding ocean change, from two centuries of measuring, exploring, analysing, sampling and mapping the ocean. These range from sediment collected by HMS Challenger in 1872-76, a robot designed to give a lethal injection to Crown of Thorns Starfish, and remote-sensing technologies that help us to identify, quantify and plan a response to changing ocean conditions.

Cinema-scale vision provides a dynamic backdrop to these objects and takes visitors aboard advanced scientific research vessels from Australia, Japan and Denmark.


CHILD OF THE FUTURE looks at what life and the marine environment could be like in the lifetime of children born over the next century, with dual scenario predictions: one of continuing unchecked oceanic change, or a future where science and society respond to the challenges of today and change things for the better.

The PROGRESS Billboard compiles stories from around the world of advances big and small, local and international, in addressing climate and ocean change.

Emily Jateff continued, ‘We are proud to launch our involvement with the United Nations Decade for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development with this exhibition. Over the coming years the museum will continue to amplify national and global projects, innovations and people working to bring us closer to a more sustainable ocean future.’

One Ocean – Our Future is sponsored by the Schmidt Ocean Institute and supported by the Australian National Maritime Museum’s USA Bicentennial Gift Fund. It is an endorsed activity of The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

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