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Monday, 31 March, 2008 9:05 PM
ShipWreck! Pirates and Treasure is now open at the Detroit Science Center
Photo courtesy of the Detroit Science Center
In honor of the Odyssey's ShipWreck: Pirates & Treasure touring exhibition, the Detroit Science Center along with other collectors and businesses are showcasing some world famous and local shipwrecks until Sept. 1, 2008.
ShipWreck! Pirates & Treasure features artifacts from the Steamship Republic. The SSR has been known as one of the greatest shipwrecks during the Civil War era. Going to the Atlantic Ocean more than 1,700 feet below the ocean surface, the Odyssey recovered over 50,000 coins and 14,000 artifacts.
Among other prized possessions in the exhibit, ShipWreck! Pirates & Treasure has hands-on experiments for everyone to try. There is a 75-mph hurricane tube that allows visitors to feel the winds of nature at hurricane speed but if a person has respiratory problems they are cautioned to be careful. People of all ages are able to take a look at some of the artifacts that were recovered but still underwater. There is also a robot “submersible” that people can pilot. And the robot is real.
Visitors will also be able to see timeless historical artifacts in numerous displays. There are bells from ships and even some pottery on display for all to see. Once inside the center and up a few flights of stairs, the exhibit is breathtaking. From the entrance to the exit, this show carries a variety for adults and children to do together.
"Something for everyone to do, audio, games, interactive works, my 9-year-old is moving through the exhibit quickly," said Karen Daive of Chicago.
One of the sites features a tutorial about various famous pirate ports and the pirates that first discovered the island. One of the many games enjoyed by many children is the rope tying wall. This game has a display that shows people how to perform a basic pirate rope tie; some children found it easy while others struggled.
"It was a little frustrating at first but I got after a while," said Amber Jackson of Detroit.
Aside from the games, there are three short biographies about Captain Edward Teach formally known as Black Beard, one the most famous and notorious pirates of his time. Another blood thirsty pirate was William Kidd. He was often known by people as Captain Kidd. Kidd similar to Black Beard, started his career far from the world pirate leadership but after greed and glory sunk into their minds, their career paths changed.
The third party of pirates displayed is a set of women; Mary Read and Anne Bonny. Women pirates were uncommon during the pirate era but these two women disguised themselves as men and were quite successful during their time even though they were on the same ship.
Along with the ShipWreck! Pirates and Treasure there is a Great Lakes Lost and Found artifact on display. This exhibit showcases local shipwrecks. The main shipwreck displayed at the science center is the Regina of 1913 and a model of the Edmund Fitzgerald of 1975.
One of the deadliest storms to impact the Great Lakes killed 250 people, stranded 19 ships and destroyed 19 others, Regina was one them. According to the Detroit Science Center , Wayne Brusate of Commercial Diving and Marine Services discovered the wreck and is loaning artifacts from the site to science center.
Another exhibit on loan is the Edmund Fitzgerald, according to the Detroit Science Center. Coming from the U.S. Steel, they are showing antique bottles, a cannon ball, a spittoon and other collectibles.
Once admission into the science center is granted, both exhibits are free. Tickets are $15.95 for adults and $13.95 for children and seniors, the price includes general museum admission and there are group prices and discounts are available. For reservations people are recommended to call (313) 577-8400, ext. 5 or visit online at www.detroitsciencecenter.org.
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