Go on an Ocean Odyssey at New York’s Times Square

Take a dip into a huge aquarium without any water

Last weekend, New York welcomed a new sensation. National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey is the newest attraction at Times Square, conceptualised and operated by National Geographic.

A futuristic world aquarium without a single drop of water, it is a huge work of animation in which everything looks amazingly real, but nothing is real.

Here, the spectacular coral reefs of the Solomon Islands are depicted on huge curved screens, with the viewers right in the middle. Fish swim by and shy reef dwellers disappear into the coral reefs whenever they get too close.

What is shown here cannot be found in the photo and film archives of the renowned magazine; but was specially edited and programmed by the graphics team, who also created the dragons in Game of Thrones.

In this interactive digital aquarium, visitors are visited by sharks, dolphins and humpback whales, and it seems that the vision of the creators from National Geographic has been received by visitors with great enthusiasm.

"Our dream is to create entertainment that touches deeply," said Lisa Truitt, Creative Director at National Geographic.

To achieve this challenging goal, the makers of Ocean Odyssey needed film and image material of extremely high resolution and state-of-the-art screen technology to conjure up realistic images on an amplified scale on the gigantic projection screens. This was only possible with photo-realistic animation.

Visitors are drawn into the pseudo-real world of images in which two huge Humboldt squids fight for supremacy, or the completely dark space of a coral reef at night.

Ocean Odyssey can be found in New York, 226 W. 44th Street
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Check out this video of the experience