Science Center featuring the Unseen World
A new giant screen film adventure takes audiences on an extraordinary journey into unseen worlds and hidden dimensions beyond their normal vision to uncover the mysteries of things too fast, too slow, too small, or simply invisible.
On Thursday, Jan. 2, the Rangos Omnimax Theater at Carnegie Science Center premiered Mysteries of the Unseen World, an original production by National Geographic Entertainment and Days End Pictures, narrated by Forest Whitaker.
Created by an award-winning veteran film team, the new 40-minute large format experience is produced by Jini Dürr (Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure) and Lisa Truitt (Mysteries of Egypt), and directed by Louie Schwartzberg (Disneynature: Wings of Life). Mysteries of the Unseen World uses innovative high-speed and time-lapse photography, electron microscopy, and nanotechnology, to transport audiences to an enthralling secret world of nature, events, and breathtaking phenomena not visible to the naked eye.
Invisible: Only a fraction of the millions of wavelengths in the vast electromagnetic spectrum can be seen -- the rainbow of light waves called visible light. The film shows audiences what it would be like if people had X-ray vision, or infrared vision like a mosquito, how a bee’s eyes see through ultraviolet light, what Gamma rays, microwaves and radio waves show, and more.
Too Slow: Time-lapse images capture mundane events that happen too slowly for humans to perceive. The film shows plants creeping toward the sun and astonishingly complex “slime mold” searching for food. On a grander scale, time-lapse allows audiences our planet in motion—from the vast and relentless sweep of nature to the restless movement of humanity.
Too Slow: High-speed cameras do the opposite of time-lapse, revealing secrets from the super-fast world of nature. The film shows slow-motion sequences of events that happen too quickly for human perception: a rattlesnake strike; drum cymbals reverberating; a Eurasian Eagle Owl, the world’s largest, flexing its wings; a basilisk or Jesus lizard running on the surface of water; popcorn popping; lightning rising upwards from the ground as well as striking from the sky.
Too Small: The film also peers into the world of wonders too small for the human eye to see--from the minute structures on a butterfly’s wing and the tiny organisms that inhabit the human body all the way down to nano-scale structures. See how electron microscopes create images that magnify things by as much as a million times--revealing a world that is both bizarre and beautiful. Guess which unusual image is a fruit fly’s eye, the skin of a shark, a flea on a cat, a tomato stem, an eggshell, and more.
Mysteries of the Unseen World then moves from the familiar events of everyday life to the building blocks of matter itself. The filmmakers worked with a 3-D medical animation company to depict the atom-scale realm of nano-science and potential innovations in nanotechnology. In a complex zoom sequence, the shot moves in on a spider, then a strand of its silk, then into the silk itself where audiences see a bacterium. The camera then zooms even deeper, in on a virus on the bacterium, then into the DNA of the virus and finally into the actual atoms of the DNA.
“Mysteries of the Unseen World immerses audiences in mind-bending dimensions that enhance our understanding of the planet and inspire people with the wonder and possibilities of science,” said Lisa Truitt, president of National Geographic Entertainment.
“The premise of this new giant screen film experience is looking at the world through a variety of imaging technologies that allow audiences to see beyond what they can with the naked eye and gain a new vision of the world around them,” said producer Jini Dürr.
Mysteries of the Unseen World, sponsored locally by Mazda, is funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation and support from Lockheed Martin and FEI, a manufacturer of electron microscopes.
Show times will be daily at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m., plus evening shows on Fridays and Saturdays at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Price for members is $7.50 for adults, $5.50 for children ages 3-12; for non-members, price is $8.50 for adults, $6.50 for children ages 3-12; or a $5 add-on to the general admission charge of $18.95 for adults, $11.95 for children ages 3-12.