SAMS news room

Thousands attend unique ocean exhibition

This Haihai Minke whale is one of the exhibits capturing the imagination
This Haihai Minke whale is one of the exhibits capturing the imagination

Replicas and real-life specimens of some of the ocean's most intruiging creatures have captured the imaginations of more than 40,000 visitors to an exhibition in Edinburgh.

SAMS has provided the ecological knowledge behind SEA CREATURES: Life Beneath The Ocean, which has been touring the UK with incredible cross-sections of animals from whales and penguins to Great White sharks, providing a never-before-seen up-close glimpse of these majestic creatures.

The exhibition has been on display at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston in Edinburgh (10am - 6pm) and will be there until Thursday this week. Thereafter, the exhibition will go to York from October 27 - November 25.

In total, over 200 exhibits are on show including 50 ethically sourced, real-life specimens of creatures from the deep sea, including whales, dolphins, stingrays and even a giant squid. Alongside the many full-body exhibits is a host of smaller displays, including the lung and eyeball of a Minke Whale, a whale’s kidney, the egg of a King Penguin, a Sea Lion’s heart and shark’s teeth.

The painstakingly preserved displays use the same plastination process developed by Dr. Gunther von Hagens and made famous by artist Damien Hirst, replacing fluids and soluble fats with resins and allowing us to view incredibly accurate ‘cross-sections’ of the creatures. The exhibition is brought to the UK by Culture Event Creative in partnership with the Scottish Association for Maritime Science (SAMS).

Visitors to the one-off exhibition are able to learn all about the complex life systems within these creatures, and why we need to protect our precious ocean life. The educational exhibition also features workshops from the RSPB, and Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality - digital interactive experiences allowing visitors to immerse themselves in an underwater world.

Naz Kabir of Culture Event Creative, commented: “Our fascination with the oceans is unwavering and the chance to get up-close and hands on with these majestic creatures is an incredible experience for children and adults.

“Sea Creatures gives visitors the chance to learn about the animals who inhabit the same planet as us, but very rarely - if ever - cross our paths, and our interactive and tactile displays create an incredible opportunity to find out more about the creatures themselves, but also the many ways we can become involved in marine conservation and help to preserve the beautiful ocean life that is so important to us all.”

Tickets are available now at