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Steampunk-Influenced Fun in Newport: Jules Verne Meets Oregon Coast Aquarium

Published 05/14/2019 at 4:53 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Steampunk-Influenced Fun in Newport: Jules Verne Meets Oregon Coast Aquarium

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(Newport, Oregon) – Where the oceanic meets steampunk: this is the new perspective on tropical marine life that is featured at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. (All photos courtesy Oregon Coast Aquarium).

It’s a new exhibit called Seapunk: Powered by Imagination, opening Saturday, May 25. With the Sci-Fi subgenre of steampunk as inspiration, you get hints of the cultural phenom’s sensibilities of art, technology and fashion that mix the futuristic with Victorian-era, steam-powered machinery.

Seapunk: Powered by Imagination presents a whole new perspective on tropical marine life, using a fantasia-like hands-on and interactive extravaganza of the senses. Guests will experience an underwater alternative universe 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 one may be familiar with today.

Think Jules Verne meets the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Visitors can turn a crank to fire up lighting that then illuminates the cragged teeth of a mechanical angler fish, or they can flip lenses of giant metal goggles to magnify vibrant, schooling fish within. The Helmetoid, an oversized fanciful version of an undersea helmet, inspires awe at first glance. Upon closer inspection, the elaborate apparatus affords views of brain coral teeming with clownfish.

A mammoth, sprawling creature called “Butler” is featured: an oversized octopus companion that was created by Brinker to be his pal while he wanders the ocean depths. This fantastical world also lets you climb through a seahorse gallery, discover lionfish 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 fully immerse in his undersea world.

Visitors of all ages get to push buttons, and by spinning wheels and pressing levers they activate contraptions that make bubbles, sparks and sounds at each aquatic exhibit. Seapunk: Powered by Imagination transforms the spectacle of the typical aquarium gallery by merging Steampunk technology with marine exploration.

The Seapunk: Powered by Imagination grand opening will feature a magician, the live steampunk band, “Cascadian Airship,” face painting and regular scheduled animal feedings and presentations on Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium will be open every day this summer from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit aquarium.org or call 541-867-FISH for more information or to purchase advance tickets. 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. www.aquarium.org, 541-867-3474. Lodgings in Newport - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours








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