The Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut is debuting a brand-new museum exhibit about the Titanic, in time for the 100th anniversary of the tragedy. YNN's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, Mystic Aquarium’s new exhibit, "Titanic: 12,450 Feet Below," is named for the depth where the ill-fated ship is resting at the bottom of the sea.
Dr. Robert Ballard, the renowned oceanographer who discovered the wreck of the RMS Titanic, is a major force behind the multimillion-dollar project.
"What we're trying to do with this exhibit is, we are trying to get people to understand that the deep sea is the largest museum on earth," he says.
Ballard manages to bring the famed ship to life, staying true to his commitment not to remove any of the artifacts from the debris field.
One poignant memorial recreates the footwear of the victims.
"Bones actually dissolve. It takes a few years, but the bones just vanish and what's left behind, as you see in this display, is the shoes, the way they were attached to the bodies," says Ballard. "And when we saw those pairs of shoes, we saw the tombstones of those bodies."
Ballard has also donated some of his personal effects.
"I have all my documents that I've never shown anyone that led up to the trials and tribulations of finding the Titanic. You can now go in and read all those documents," says Ballard, with a laugh.
The interactive exhibit is geared toward children, who can feel what it is like to touch an iceberg and immerse themselves in other ways.
"I think it's exactly cool because you can really go in and experience what the Titanic was all about," says visitor Tybriona Jarrett.
Entry to the Titanic exhibit is free with general admission to the Aquarium in Mystic, Conn., which is $29 for adults and $21 for kids age 3-17. For more information, visit www.mysticaquarium.org.