Lots of weird science at Birch Aquarium exhibit, 'Oddities: Hidden Heroes of the Scripps Collections,' in La Jolla/San Diego County

A comic book-inspired exhibit that highlights the astonishing adaptations (aka super powers) of ocean species opens Friday, June 29 at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego

"Oddities: Hidden Heroes of the Scripps Collections" was created in partnership with the team from the Scripps Oceanographic Collections, where millions of specimens allow scientists to understand some of the extraodinary adaptations marine creatures have developed to survive.

From super vision and invisibility to protective armor and the ability to create electricity to zap prey, real marine creatures do amazing things every day that stretch even the wildest imagination.

"I don't think an exhibit like this would be possible anywhere else," said Harry Helling, executive director of Birch Aquarium. "It's truly a unique collaboration between the researchers of the Scripps Collections and the talented Exhibits and Education teams here at Birch Aquarium. Our guests are in for a real treat!"

The interactive exhibit will include examples of some of the most unique creatures from all depths and highlight how they have inspired everything from cinema and pop culture to medicine and engineering.

Guests will learn what it takes to collect scientific samples and have the opportunity to test out some of these unique adaptations through creature cosplay.

"We're excited to showcase some of the wonderful specimens from the Collections and to tell their stories in this playful, engaging way. By coming face-to-face with unusual specimens, visitors will get to see how our Collections empower real discoveries in science and education every day," said Charlotte Seid, manager of Scripps' Benthic Invertebrate Collection.

Oddities opens June 29 and will be on display through Spring 2019. The exhibit replaces the Mexican Seas and Feeling the Heat exhibits.

IF YOU GO: "Oddities" is included with Birch Aquarium admission, $18.50 for adults and $14 for children ($19.50 and $15 after July 1). Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla. (858) 534-3474. aquarium.ucsd.edu

SCRIPPS OCEANIC COLLECTION: By preserving information about the past and present states of the ocean, these irreplaceable resources provide the basis for understanding the biodiversity, history and future of life on Earth. The four Collections include Marine Vertebrates (fishes), Pelagic Invertebrates (zooplankton), Benthic Invertebrates (seafloor invertebrates), and Geological Collections (rocks, cores, and fossils).

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