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“Humpbacks of Hawai‘i” Sphere Exhibit to Open Soon

February 4, 2019, 2:45 PM HST · Updated February 6, 9:40 AM
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Maui Ocean Center has announced its “Humpbacks of Hawai‘i Exhibit & Sphere” will debut on February 10, 2019. As the first-of-its-kind experience in Hawai‘i, the multi-million-dollar Sphere marks a new era in the confluence of technology and marine observation.

For the first time ever, guests can experience the mystery and majesty of one of the largest mammals on planet Earth as no one has before. “Humpbacks of Hawai‘i” offers a new and exhilarating dimension to Maui’s famous whale watching season, breaking the barrier of the ocean to bring guests eye-to-eye with Maui’s humpback whales in their home beneath the waves.

“Until now, people have mainly observed humpback whales from above the ocean’s surface, witnessing their power and size during their infamous breaches,” says Tapani Vuori, general manager of Maui Ocean Center. “Our exhibit transports guests deep into the ocean, giving them an inside look into the complex and vibrant lives of Maui’s humpback whales, and allowing them to forge new connections with one of nature’s greatest marvels.”

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The exhibit showcases the whales’ nomadic lifestyle, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in their songs, signals, and social bonds, and even create a personal whale song. The migration of humpback whales are presented through interactive exhibits, educational displays, and –– the crowning jewel of the exhibit –– a virtual whale encounter in the Sphere. At 58 feet in diameter, the new 120-seat sphere combines 3D glasses and 4K laser imagery to blur the lines of reality with technology that is new to Hawai‘i. The Sphere screen is larger than the average size of an adult humpback whale, placing viewers in perfect proportion to the whale’s true size…with room to swim.

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    Maui Ocean Center’s Exhibit Hall for “Humpbacks of Hawai‘i” in Mā‘alaea. Courtesy photo.

    Eye-to-eye with whales at “Humpbacks of Hawai‘i” exhibit and sphere, part of Maui Ocean Center. Courtesy photo.

    Interactive learning in the “Humpbacks of Hawai‘i” exhibit at Maui Ocean Center. Courtesy photo.

    Exterior view of the sphere that houses the “Humpbacks of Hawai‘i” exhibit at Maui Ocean Center. Courtesy photo.

    Seating and screen inside the sphere for Maui Ocean Center’s”Humpbacks of Hawai‘i” exhibit in Mā‘alaea. Courtesy photo.

    “Humpbacks of Hawai‘i Exhibit & Sphere” was created in collaboration with local artisans, marine mammal specialists, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and affiliated organizations. Filmed and produced by Daniel Opitz of Ocean Mind, the whales featured in the sphere were filmed in Maui waters over two seasons under the supervision of and with permits granted by NOAA.

    For more details on how to experience “Humpbacks of Hawaiʻi Exhibit & Sphere” for yourself, please Maui Ocean Center’s website or call (808) 270-7000.

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    Watch MauiNow’s Malika Dudley preview the upcoming exhibit below:

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