For this ocean adventure, you won’t need scuba gear. National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey at Times Square in New York City brings visitors under the water to see marine life like it’s never been seen before. They’re building a love for our oceans, so we all take action and care for them.
“It’s not an aquarium, it’s not a museum and it’s not virtual reality – it is a new combination of all three concepts,” said Lisa Truitt, chief creative officer and managing partner of SPE partners who created the experience for National Geographic. “It’s an aquarium without live animals, virtual reality without a headset in a setting you can share with friends and family.”
Truitt brings her experience as the former president of National Geographic screen films and special projects, producing documentaries for large-format screens. And, as you walk through the Ocean Odyssey, it’s like a living, interactive film experience. Instead of looking at a screen you’re walking through the ocean with video across the walls, the floor – even seamless turning corners. Through your adventure, you dive into the Pacific Ocean close to the Solomon Islands. You’ll pass through bioluminescent coral reefs that glow in the night. You’ll dive down into the deep ocean – barely missing massive Humboldt squids fighting each other with their teeth-lined suckers as they fly across the room back and forth. You’ll swim through the kelp forest and surface on the other side of the ocean near California, interacting with marine life in real-time via state-of-the-art technology as you’ve never seen before.
“It’s as if you were jumping into the kelp forest and traveling through the ocean. It’s not like watching a movie, there are no edits. We’ve invented a new form of entertainment,” said Truitt
The Odyssey ends at Exploration Hall, and it offers a chance for people to stake a claim and let their own voices be heard around the importance of conservation and preservation. People can pledge to help our planet, by taking a pledge to reduce their use of plastic straws, recycle more or give up plastic water bottles. The experience is a powerful way to see first-hand the beauty of our oceans and the importance of its ecosystems.
Truitt said that the experience helps make the health and importance of our oceans a personal thing for visitors.
“We look at the ocean like it's this big, flat, wet surface. It's so easy to ignore what’s beneath the surface. We don't take care of things we don't love. So few people realize that at least 50 percent of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean – which is at risk as oceans warm. Our survival and health are so strongly linked to the ocean.”
Learn more about the National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey, and if you do stop by, don’t forget to check out Boxed Water in the gift shop, as one of the many partners who’s helping raise awareness about the importance of our oceans. In fact, for the rest of the year, we have a special deal running. Purchase your tickets with code BOX8, and you’ll receive $10 off your ticket price and a free Boxed Water. You can order today!