New York City is full of lots of treasure: There is great art, fabulous food, and world-renowned entertainment. But a new exhibit at Discovery Times Square focuses on the kinds of treasure that are found at the bottom of the sea.
Shipwreck! is a new exhibit focused on the work of Odyssey Marine Exploration, a high-tech ocean salvage company whose Web site is, appropriately, shipwreck.net. Visitors get to explore how ships foundered (there’s a simulated hurricane) and how wrecks were located in the vastness of Earth’s oceans. Odyssey has mapped 17,000 square miles of seabed, which sounds large until you realize that the ocean floor under the North Pole alone is about 380,000 square miles. In its work, the company has deployed state-of-the-art sonar and submersibles, and some of that technology is on display, too.
Your young pirates can see some of the 15,000 artifacts that Odyssey has recovered from wrecks, like the hardware that was being transported on the SS Republic in 1865 for settlers in the expanding American west. We loved the wall of bottles recovered from the Republic: Everything from food to medicine, and all carefully documented on the accompanying touch-screen display.
It takes big money to do the work that Odyssey has done, but there can also be big rewards. Late last month, Odyssey announced that it had recovered an additional 60 tons of silver bullion from the SS Gairsoppa, a wreck it discovered in 2011. It brought up 48 tons of ingots in 2012 and some of those 80-pound blocks are at DTS. In all, Odyssey has salvaged 1.8 million troy ounces; silver is currently trading at just over $20 an ounce.
And if you are prone to turning your summer day trips into a talk about what kids could do if they study hard in school, Shipwreck! is a great lesson in the need for top-notch math and science skills, as well as a passion for history.
Tickets to Shipwreck! are $14.50 for kids 4-12, $19.50 for adults and $16.50 for seniors, and can be bought in person or online with a surcharge of $1 per ticket. You can also buy combination tickets that will let you into the Lego art exhibit, which we visited in June, at about a 30% discount on the price of the tickets purchased separately.
Through Aug. 31, DTS is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. In September, the hours change to Sunday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The show closes Jan. 5, 2014.