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Sharks: From Fear to Fascination

By SF/Arts Editors

Explore the Jaw-Dropping Exhibit at Cal Academy

The California Academy of Sciences Sharks explores the fascinating world of these dynamic ocean predators. Created by Grande Experiences, Sharks is a limited engagement that invites visitors to explore the most comprehensive and innovative ‘out of water’ shark experience ever to tour the world. 

Whether sharks fill you with fear or fascination, Sharks will have you hooked from start to finish. Leave the outside world behind as you dive into the incredible underwater world of sharks—without even getting your feet wet. Trace over 450 million years of evolution, come face-to-face with the storied great white shark (in model form), learn about current conservation efforts to protect vulnerable shark populations, and gain a whole new level of respect for the ocean’s oldest and most effective predator.

“Sharks have inspired marine scientists like me for generations. As a scientific diver, encountering sharks while descending to the ocean’s depths is an indescribable experience,” says Dr. Luiz Rocha, the Academy’s curator of ichthyology. “In order to fully understand how to protect coral reefs and sustain healthy oceans, we must examine the complex relationships between predators and prey, and appreciating the role that sharks play in ocean ecosystems is key to that understanding. We hope that this exhibit sparks curiosity and provides a deeper connection for our visitors. There is so much to be learned from sharks.”

Within this immersive exhibit, Sharks will feature more than a dozen full-scale shark models—from a hammerhead to a bull shark—and a life-size replica of the massive jaws of a Megalodon, an ancient ancestor of the great white shark. Plus, visitors can examine a collection of extremely rare fossils dating back as far as 370 million years and real shark jaws and teeth. Detailed examinations of shark anatomy, biology, hunting strategies and sensory systems, and interactive, educational displays and entertaining hands-on experiences invite visitors to explore. Plus, enjoy an immersive cinematic experience as high-definition underwater footage transports you to the underwater world of sharks with floor-to-ceiling projections.

Visitors will also be immersed in captivating stories of human/shark encounters, both personal accounts from humans who have come face to face with these ocean marvels and the iconic shark stories portrayed—and often misrepresented—in popular television and film. 

Sharks is open daily through January 23, 2022. Please note that capacity is limited in this exhibit and physical distancing is required.

SF/Arts Editors
SF/Arts Editors
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