Whales, those magnificent, massive creatures gliding through the water, have caught imaginations, invoked fear, and provided food and income to humans around the world and over the centuries. From the friendly bottlenose dolphins we’re all familiar with, to the enormous blue whale, whales have long fascinated us.
The newest travelling exhibit at TELUS Spark can help satisfy your curiosity about these amazing animals. Whales|Tohorā is an interactive exhibition that has been touring North America from New Zealand for 10 years. Now, it’s visiting the TELUS Spark from January 20 to June 20, 2018. The exhibit houses one of the world’s largest whale collections from the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and will immerse you in the biological diversity, evolution, and significance of whales to Māori culture and the indigenous people of New Zealand. Calgary is the final North American stop for this tour, and from now until June 20th, you’ll have a chance to see it for yourself.
The exhibit room at TELUS Spark is filled with things to look at, immersive displays, and informative placards about whales and their connections with the people of New Zealand. Commanding the space as you enter is the skeleton of a male sperm whale. With so much to look at, you’ll want to start exploring the world of whales, but won’t know which direction to drift first!
The interactive displays, designed for the interest of kids, give you the chance to match whales with their tails or to build a dolphin to see how high it could jump. One display is a game where you have to help a dolphin travel safely to a reserve; when we played it, it mostly ended in an orca attack, causing me to feel sorry for the plight of dolphins in the real world. Another exhibit your kids will love is the sound chamber, where you can listen to a wide variety of whale sounds, from the extremely low tones of the blue whale to the very high squeak of the Hector’s dolphin.
There is a lot to learn as you explore the Whales|Tohorā exhibit. Learn about the legends and heroes in Māori culture, and to complement the 17.8 m skeleton of a bull sperm whale hanging from the ceiling, you can learn all you never knew you wanted to know about sperm whales! Touch a real sperm whale tooth. Watch a simulated video of a sperm whale hunting, from the whale’s perspective. (They use echolocation, can go down to 6500 feet and can stay down for up to 80 minutes. Plus, despite the wicked looking teeth, it SUCKS in its prey.)
Also, did you know that beaked whales are the largest group of whales after dolphins, but they are rarely seen? In fact, some species are only known from the skeletons that have been found washed up on beaches. You can also touch the vertebra and rib of a fin whale. Perhaps you’ve heard of ambergris? It is a wax-like substance that is secreted by the intestines of sperm whales and has been traditionally used as a fixative in perfumes. Well, now you can give it a sniff! If that’s just not for you, crawl inside a life-size model of a blue whale’s heart. You can imagine how large it is!
So, come explore the world of whales! From now until June 20th, visit Whales|Tohorā at TELUS Spark. You can buy tickets here. The exhibit is included in your general admission, so you can easily discover these marvellous creatures!
TELUS Spark – Whales|Tohorā:
When: January 20 – June 20, 2018
Time: 10 am – 4 pm
Where: TELUS Spark
Address: 220 St. George’s Drive NE, Calgary, AB
Cost: Included with Admission to TELUS Spark
Although we do our best to provide you with accurate information, all event details are subject to change. Please contact the facility to avoid disappointment.