WORCESTER, MASS. — A film adventure takes audiences on an extraordinary journey into unseen worlds and hidden dimensions beyond our normal vision to uncover the mysteries of things too fast, too slow, too small or simply invisible. On October 11, 2014, the EcoTarium will premiere MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD, an original production by National Geographic Entertainment and Days End Pictures, narrated by Forest Whitaker.
Created by an award-winning veteran film team, the 40-minute large format experience is produced by Jini Dürr (“Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure”) and Lisa Truitt (“Mysteries of Egypt”), and directed by Louie Schwartzberg (“Disneynature: Wings of Life”). MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD uses innovative high-speed and time-lapse photography, electron microscopy, and nanotechnology, to transport audiences to an enthralling secret world of nature, events, and breathtaking phenomena not visible to the naked eye.
We see only a fraction of the millions of wavelengths in the vast electromagnetic spectrum-- the rainbow of light waves called visible light. The film shows audiences what it would be like if we had X-ray vision, or infrared vision like a mosquito, how a bee’s eyes see through ultraviolet light, what Gamma rays, microwaves and radio waves show us, and more.
Time-lapse images capture mundane events that happen too slowly for humans to perceive. The film shows plants creeping toward the sun and astonishingly complex “slime mold” searching for food. On a grander scale, time-lapse allows audiences our planet in motion—from the vast and relentless sweep of nature to the restless movement of humanity.
High-speed cameras do the opposite of time-lapse, revealing secrets from the super-fast world of nature. The film shows slow motion sequences of events that happen too quickly for human perception: a rattlesnake strike; drum cymbals reverberating; a Eurasian Eagle Owl, the world’s largest, flexing its wings; a basilisk or Jesus lizard running on the surface of water; popcorn popping; lightning rising upwards from the ground as well as striking from the sky.
The film also peers into the world of wonders too small for the human eye to see--from the minute structures on a butterfly’s wing and the tiny organisms that inhabit the human body all the way down to nano-scale structures. See how electron microscopes create images that magnify things by as much as a million times--revealing a world that is both bizarre and beautiful. Guess which unusual image is a fruit fly’s eye, the skin of a shark, a flea on a cat, a tomato stem, an eggshell, and more!
MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD then moves from the familiar events of everyday life to the building blocks of matter itself. The filmmakers worked with a 3-D medical animation company to depict the atom-scale realm of nano-science and potential innovations in nanotechnology. In a complex zoom sequence, the shot moves in on a spider, then a strand of its silk, then into the silk itself where audiences see a bacterium. The camera then zooms even deeper, in on a virus on the bacterium, then into the DNA of the virus and finally into the actual atoms of the DNA.
“The premise of this new giant screen film experience is looking at the world through a variety of imaging technologies that allow audiences to see beyond what they can with the naked eye and gain a new vision of the world around them,” said producer Jini Dürr.
MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD is funded in part by a grant from the National Science foundation and generous support from Lockheed Martin and FEI, a manufacturer of electron microscopes.
MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD opens at the EcoTarium’s Alden Digital Planetarium: A National Geographic Theater on Saturday, October 11, 2014. Show times are presently Tuesday through Friday at 3:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. See www.ecotarium.org for current Hours and Admission information.
Earlier this month, the EcoTarium announced its partnership with National Geographic, which involves rebranding the museum’s theater to Alden Digital Planetarium: A National Geographic Theater and special access to new National Geographic films, among other benefits. There are fewer than ten other museums in the United States having this exclusive partnership, and the EcoTarium is the only one in New England.
About the EcoTarium
EcoTarium is New England's leading museum of science and nature, an indoor-outdoor experience dedicated to inspiring a passion for science and nature in visitors of all ages. The museum includes a building with three floors of interactive exhibits, the Alden Digital Planetarium: A National Geographic Theater, daily Science Discovery programs, live animal habitats, nature trails through its forest and meadow, a tree canopy walkway (seasonal), and its newest outdoor interactive exhibit, Nature Explore®.
The EcoTarium, located at 222 Harrington Way in Worcester, Mass., is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sundays 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $8 for children 2-18, $10 for seniors 65+ and students with ID. WOO card holders receive $2 off admission for up to four people. Planetarium shows require additional admission. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.ecotarium.org.
About the National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the member-supported Society’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. Through its online community, members can get closer to explorers and photographers, connect with other members around the world and help make a difference. National Geographic reflects the world through its magazines, television programs, films, books, DVDs, radio, maps, exhibitions, live events, school publishing programs, travel expeditions, interactive media and merchandise. National Geographic magazine, the Society’s official journal, published in English and 40 local-language editions, is read by more than 60 million people each month. The National Geographic Channel reaches 440 million households in 171 countries in 48 languages. National Geographic's digital media receive around 27 million visitors a month. National Geographic has funded more than 11,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geography literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.