plankton populations

searching for life in the oceans
exhibit designer – apr 2013
We all know of the "charismatic megafauna" in the oceans: whales, sharks, dolphins. But what of the plankton that form the base of the marine food web, and produce the oxygen we breathe?

Plankton Populations allows visitors to examine marine micro-biomes by peering through a wood-and-glass lens into a digital representation of the world's oceans.
  • Visitors fishing for plankton

    Visitors explore plankton types in the world's oceans.

  • Video produced by the Exploratorium Moving Image Department.

  • Magnifying plankton populations

    Representations of the type and density of plankton populations are visible through the lens.

  • Infrared fiducials tracked by the table

    A special marker, opaque to sensors within the table but transparent to humans, allows the system to draw plankton wherever the lens moves.