18.7 | A virtual coral reef developed at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) is being shown at the Meeresmuseum in Stralsund. With four locations and more than 700,000 visitors a year the DeutscheMeeresmuseum is the largest natural science museum in Northern Germany. The ZMT reef is now supplementing one of the main museum exhibits, a coral reef column of five metre height on one of the largest museum showcases in Germany. The multi-media station was officially inaugurated today.
"We'd like to address young visitors with the virtual reef. They can navigate the nachgebildete ecosystem using a games console", says Dr. Götz-Bodo Reinicke, curator for marine ecology and invertabrates at the Deutsche Meeresmuseum.
During their virtual dive in 2D visitors can see stony and soft corals, Anemonen- und Doktorfische, sharks and sea turtles, and can also find out about the devastating influences that threaten the reef organisms.The simulation shows the direct influences of coral bleaching or illegal dynamite fishing which is still a big problem in many tropical countries.
The IT Unit at ZMT developed the interactive simulation in collaboration with reef experts at the institute to make a larger public aware of the beauty of reefs and their Gefährdung and inform about ZMT's research.
The ZMT exhibit is also currently on a tour through German railway stations as part of the exhibition "Science Station“ and on show at Bremen's Haus der Wissenschaft in the exhibition "100m Meer – Eine Reise durch die Meere und Ozeane“. A VR version is being exhibited at the science vessel MS Wissenschaft.