VIDEO: National Aquarium Builds New Octopus Habitat

06 Jul, 2018

Get a brief behind-the-scenes look at the National Aquarium's exhibit build for a new Giant Pacific Octopus display.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the National Aquarium’s exhibit build for a new Giant Pacific Octopus display.

Baltimore’s National Aquarium has unveiled a new and larger exhibit to display the Giant Pacific Octopus (GPO), Enteroctopus dofleini.

Adam Nelson, Exhibit Builder and Habitat Fabrication Specialist at the National Aquarium

Adam Nelson, Exhibit Builder and Habitat Fabrication Specialist at the National Aquarium

As part of the announcement, the Aquarium released a short video narrated by Exhibit Builder and Habitat Fabrication Specialist Adam Nelson, who explains the thought process underlying the design that replicates a typical underwater cave found along the coast of the Pacific Northwest, which the GPO calls home.

Says Nelson, “It’s a really specific job to create these exhibits in-house…as an artist, I think this project is incredibly unique. Building a really specific environment, trying to recreate the way that it looks, and the textures and the things that you’d find there, along with making it a completely functional place for this octopus to live…was challenging; it’s not something you normally do in a museum setting.

“In a lot of ways, it’s like anonymous artwork: it’s just the exhibit team that built this exhibit, and a million people are going to see it. Maybe they don’t know who made it, but I can sort of hang back in the wings and watch them interact with it and enjoy it, and see how they react to it.”

A Giant Pacific Octopus, Enteroctopus dofleini, explores its new home at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland.

A Giant Pacific Octopus, Enteroctopus dofleini, explores its new home at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland.

While Nelson narrates, viewers can catch glimpses of a miniature exhibit mockup, foam carving, resin mixing, laying down fiberglass, and coral molds being cast. For anyone interested in DIY aquascaping materials, or anyone just wondering how those massive public aquarium displays are created, this video will be an enjoyable look behind the curtain!

Watch Now:

New and Improved Octopus Habitat

Our Animal of the Week is the giant Pacific octopus, which has a new habitat to call home at the National Aquarium!Take a look inside the new Feeding gallery in our Surviving Through Adaptation exhibit and you’ll find yourself in a giant Pacific octopus’s cave, from the inside looking out.

Posted by National Aquarium on Tuesday, July 3, 2018

 

Further Reading

Learn more about this new exhibit and its design at http://aqua.org/blog/2018/July/New-And-Improved-Octopus-Habitat.

Image & Video Credits: National Aquarium

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About the author

Reef To Rainforest
Reef To Rainforest

Reef to Rainforest Media, LLC is the publisher of award-winning magazines and books in the fields of aquarium keeping, aquatics, and marine science. It is the English-language publisher of CORAL and AMAZONAS Magazines and is based in Shelburne, Vermont, USA.

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