Thursday, April 14, 2005

Volcanoes of the Deep Sea: A Review

I didn't really know what to expect when we got to the Science Center. The Parking was free - cool. When we got inside I noticed that there wern't that many people there yet. But by the time the movie started the theater was almost full. So to be a good mix of young and old -several people brought young children. So, to the movie itself.
Mrs. afarensis claims she learned more about biology in 45 minutes at the Omnimax than she did taking a 3 credit biology class at St. Louis University. She says that her biology instructor said that life in the sea is only possible because of nutrients coming from above. Thermophilic critters and sulfer bacteria eating critters were a whole new realm of biology for her. She loved it!

For my part, I thought it was great. Had a great wraparound plot about a paleontologist named Dolph who was tring to find some sea critter responsible for making some honeycombed shaped trace fossils (unfortunately, I didn't have any paper to take notes on so I don't have details on names and species). He goes down in Alvin looking for these critters takes some samples from the ocean floor near black smokers and lava vents and what not. Unfortunately, the critter always gets away so at the end of the movie he still has not found out what they look like. He remarks "My wife would probably be happy that I never found my mistress of the seas" and on that somewhat wistful note the movie ends. In the meantime, we learn about the birth of the sun and the origins of planet earth. We learn about continental drift and sea floor spreading. We learn about all sorts of heat loving shrimp, octopi, and worms. Really, really cool worms with some red coloring about were their mouths would be - if they had mouths. The red comes from a type of hemoglobin. All in all I thought it was a great movie, well worth the 45 minutes. I didn't really overhear any negative comments from the crowd as I was filling out the questionairre afterwords - but that doesn't mean anything. I sincerely hope the St. Louis Science Center decides to show this movie.