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Océan, une plongée insolite © MNHN
Océan, une plongée insolite © MNHN

Ocean: Diving into the Unknown

Cette exposition est terminée

From 3 April 2019 to 5 January 2020

A place of exploration, a reserve of biodiversity and a source of inspiration and legends, discover the most surprising and unknown facets of the Ocean!



Exceptional closure


Suitable for ages 5+

Accessible aux visiteurs à mobilité réduiteAccessible aux visiteurs déficients intellectuelsAccessible aux visiteurs sourds et malentendants


Grande Galerie de l’Évolution

36 rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire
75005 Paris


From €9 to €12

A world to be explored


Although the ocean covers the majority of our planet, it remains largely unknown... Not just because of its vast size but also because exploring it is a real challenge for human beings. Discover some of the many tools and techniques that have been used since Antiquity to rise to this challenge!

Life to be discovered

Exploring the ocean means setting off to discover incredible biodiversity that is still largely unknown.
In keeping with the first naturalist expeditions in the 19 th century, the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (National Museum of Natural History) organises major oceanographic campaigns that contribute to the discovery of many new species each year. These photos taken at the time of collection show a sample of them.

Exposition Océan, une plongée insolite © MNHN - JC Domenech - Graphisme : © estelle maugras - je formule
Exposition Océan, une plongée insolite © MNHN - JC Domenech - Graphisme : © estelle maugras - je formule

Dive with the Nautile!

How can a dive at a depth of nearly 3,000 metres go well? Launching, descending, navigating a few metres from the seafloor and collecting specimens from a hydrothermal spring: this multimedia exhibit gives young visitors a lively introduction to the work these dives entail with the help of Ifremer’s famous submarine.

With the flow of the current

Diversity of plankton

The majority of marine life is microscopic!
More than 95% of the ocean’s biomass is made up of organisms that are invisible to the naked eye... most of gorgonthem are plankton. A portrait gallery and immersive 360° film offer you the chance to dive into another dimension, to discover the incredible diversity in these tiny being’s forms and functions.

Let’s go little larvae!

Plankton includes a wide range of organisms, that all drift with the flow of the current...
Young visitors can follow the lively adventures of four little sea urchin larvae through an interactive cartoon.

Let’s fight acidification!

The ocean absorbs a quarter of the CO 2 emissions caused by human activity... But at what cost? This ever-rising concentration of CO 2 causes acidification, which is a threat to plankton and then to the entire food web.
So pedal to explore some possible solutions!

Dive into extreme environments

In the third section, the exhibition sets sail for regions that are particularly difficult to access: the deep sea and the icy waters of the Southern Ocean. Long considered deserted, these environments are actually home to unconventional life forms...

An ocean of promises

A pool of molecules of interest to humanity

The ocean is not only an immense reservoir of biodiversity, but also a pool of molecules of interest to humanity, in particular from a therapeutic perspective. A large interactive projection invites visitors to explore the history of five molecules that have already revolutionised biology or that look particularly promising for medical research.


Shapes, structures and materials... let’s learn from the ocean – it has the answer!
A game table offers visitors, young and older alike, the chance to learn about this concept through amazing applications.

Between myth and reality

A wide range of myths

A source of fascination, wonder or fear, over the centuries the ocean has given rise to many myths and stories featuring legendary creatures.
In the last section of the exhibition, we meet three fascinating animals – the giant squid, the coelacanth and the giant oarfish – which, although understood at a scientific level, still have something mythical about them.

Exposition Océan, une plongée insolite © MNHN - JC Domenech - Graphisme : © estelle maugras - je formule
Exposition Océan, une plongée insolite © MNHN - JC Domenech - Graphisme : © estelle maugras - je formule
Odontodactylus scyllarus © MNHN - Tin-Yam Chan
Odontodactylus scyllarus © MNHN - Tin-Yam Chan

Patron and partners


The Museum warmly thanks Macif, the sole patron of the Ocean: Diving into the Unknown exhibition.

Logo Macif

Exhibition partner

The Museum warmly thanks Ifremer, partner of the Ocean: Diving into the Unknown exhibition.

logo ifremer

Media partners

The Museum warmly thanks the media partners of the Ocean: Diving into the Unknown exhibition.

Logo France tv
Logo france 3 île de France
Logo france 3 Bretagne
Logo Le Point
Logo Science et Vie Découvertes
Logo Oui SNCF
Logo Fnac
Logo Ouest France
Logo France Inter
Logo UGC

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