National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey’s innovative technology transports guests to extraordinary places and rarely witnessed moments deep in the Pacific Ocean, all without getting wet! Instead of taking wondrous animals out of their natural habitat, Encounter’s revolutionary animation takes you to theirs. By Pallavi Mehra
Even as new missions are being designed to find life on other planets, just beneath the surface of the Earth are collections of astounding organisms that are awe-inspiring. To swim, snorkel, or fly over the Pacific Ocean is to glimpse a phenomenally rich ecosystem. But to truly enter its world, you must scuba dive and descend into the ocean.
Now, you don’t need to sport the scuba gear, take lessons, and dive into the large expanse of the ocean to witness its beauty. Simply visit National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey in New York City. It is a breathtaking, interactive underwater journey that uses cutting-edge technology to take you on a voyage across the south of the Pacific Ocean. Using spectacular photo-realistic animation, Encounter gives you access to some of the most impressive marine life in the world.
SPE Partners, LLC, an entertainment developer and the producers of National Geographic Encounter, worked with a worldwide group of award-winning artists, including the design firm Falcon’s Creative Group and Pixomondo, the visual effects team behind “Game of Thrones,” to create this revolutionary experience, which is transforming the world of entertainment and film.
Your Encounter journey begins as a guided tour. Here, you experience a deep-sea battle between two ferocious Humboldt squid, which have as many as 35,000 teeth each. Next, you visit an interactive, luminous 3D coral reef, which was developed through a process called photogrammetry. More than 1,300 photos were taken on location in the Solomon Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean to construct the 3D models of this coral reef.
Thereafter, you “swim” your way through a twisting kelp forest, which is modelled after the Giant Kelp species that grow at a rate of up to 2 feet each day. You then play with mischievous sea lions and witness a shoal of 120,000 fish that make their appearance in a magnificent bait ball feeding frenzy. Finally, you find yourself narrowly escaping the jaws of a 50-foot Humpback whale.
Once you “resurface” to land, you may continue your marine exploration by listening to incredible accounts from National Geographic photographers and deep-sea divers. Additionally, you can participate in a gaming challenge to clean up a piece of the ocean and interact with holograms of the sea’s greatest phenomena and grandest beasts. You will also have a chance to take a personal pledge of action to help the ocean conservation efforts, which you may share on a live social media feed.
National Geographic Encounter ticket prices are $39.50 plus tax for adults (approximately INR 3,000), and $32.50 plus tax for kids 12 and under (approximately INR 2,500). For ocean lovers who would like to witness the unimaginable magnificence of deep-sea marine life without having to dive, this one’s a must-visit!