Hundreds of artifacts will await visitors to GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico when it reopens Saturday, Feb. 18 with a new exhibit called “Shipwreck! Pirates and Treasure.”
In addition to several interactive elements, like a LED map of shipwrecks around the world and hurricane tubes that simulate winds of 75 miles per hour, the exhibit features 500 authentic artifacts from various shipwrecks, notably, the SS Republic paddlewheel.
The exhibit allows guest to zoom into the the wreck of the SS Republic at 1,700 feet deep using a large-scale photo mosaic to view precisely where artifacts were discovered. Pieces include iron spigots, ceramic tableware, bottles and coins.
Also on display at the exhibit is some of the technology used to find shipwrecks on the ocean floor, include Odyssey’s remotely operated vehicle, side-scan sonar and acoustic transponders. The exhibit includes full-scale replicas of the equipment and innovative technology the Odyssey uses to discover shipwrecks, including a robotic manipulator arm that guests can use to try to pick up a coin.
The exhibit also features information on pirate lore, including stories on Captain Kidd, Blackbeard, Barbary corsairs, privateers and buccaneers.
After closing in November due to low attendance and an increasing debt, the museum will host a grand opening Feb. 18 before remaining open Wednesday through Saturday starting Feb. 22.