New aquarium exhibit is powered by imagination

“Seapunk” exhibit opens Memorial Day weekend

“Seapunk: Powered by Imagination” is the newest exhibit at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, opening Memorial Day Weekend 2019.The exhibit is modeled after a subgenre of science fiction, art, technology and fashion inspired by 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery: steampunk.

Experience an underwater fantasy that follows the travails of “Phineas K. Brinker” — a retro-futuristic and intrepid inventor who strands in a submarine at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. In order to survive underwater, Brinker rebuilds the crippled submarine into a modern marvel of engineering by constructing imaginative variations on contraptions you may be familiar with today.

“Seapunk: Powered by Imagination” shows you a whole new perspective on marine life, using a fantastical hands-on and interactive extravaganza of the senses. A crank illuminates the cragged teeth of a mechanical angler fish, while the changing lenses of giant metal goggles magnify vibrant tropical fish within. The Helmetoid, an oversized fanciful version of an undersea helmet, inspires awe at first glance. And, upon closer inspection, the elaborate apparatus affords views of anemones teeming with clownfish.

Meet the oversized, sprawling octopus “Butler” — a companion designed by Brinker to keep him company in the ocean depths. Climb through a seahorse gallery, discover cuttlefish within an undersea glider and peer through a “Helmet Memorial” to spot the elusive moray eel. The story of Brinker’s fateful stranding and consequent determination to survive comes to life as guests pass through the galleries and become fully immersed in his undersea world.

By turning cranks, spinning wheels and pushing levers, visitors of all ages activate the bubbles, sparks, light and sounds of each aquatic exhibit. “Seapunk: Powered by Imagination” transforms the spectacle of the typical aquarium gallery by merging Victorian-era and futuristic technologies with marine exploration.

Come experience “Seapunk: Powered by Imagination” for yourself. Visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. Follow the Aquarium on, or for the latest updates and behind-the-scenes sneak peaks.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium creates unique and engaging experiences that connect you to the Oregon Coast and inspire ocean conservation. An accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums institution, this 501(c)3 non-profit organization is ranked as one of the top 10 aquariums in the U.S.


— Oregon Coast Aquarium


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