Chattanooga, Tenn. (May 17, 2017) – In the Amazon Rainforest, awe-inspiring natural marvels are as varied as they are numerous, and some of the most extraordinary of all hide in plain sight. Literally.
On May 26, the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater will debut Amazon Adventure 3D. This giant-screen production from award-winning SK Films transports viewers back in time to join naturalist and explorer Henry Walter Bates on what’s been called the most extraordinary scientific adventure of all time. While braving perilous storms and contracting diseases that left him on death’s door, Bates doggedly investigated the astonishing ways animals blend into their environment and protect themselves from predators by mimicking the patterning of more dangerous prey.
Filmed on location in the lush Amazon region, Amazon Adventure 3D is a compelling detective story filled with dramatic wildlife footage. Insects and fish that look like leaves, lizards that look like vines, and even birds that appear to be dead branches are only revealed upon closer inspection. When shown using the immersive IMAX with Laser projection system, these natural tricksters appear extraordinarily vivid and almost touchable.
Much like the sense of scientific discovery imparted by Flight of the Butterflies 3D, another SK Films production, Amazon Adventure 3D takes viewers places you might not normally go to see amazing creatures you might not otherwise encounter.
“Walking in the footsteps of Henry Walter Bates, audiences get to follow the clues and see one of the most import discoveries about life unfold,” says Executive Producer Sean B. Carroll. “We hope this film shows where curiosity and perseverance can lead and inspires younger and older viewers alike.”
The conclusions Bates arrived at during his 11-year expedition in the rainforest had a profound impact on the scientific world. His study of the subtle differences in the patterning of longwing butterflies is a focal point of Amazon Adventure. The discoveries he brought back with him to England provided what Charles Darwin deemed “beautiful proof” for the theory of natural selection. To this day, vulnerable species adapting the appearance of noxious or otherwise dangerous animals is called “Batesian mimicry” in his honor.
“The stories behind Bates’ expedition are thrilling,” says Dr. Anna George, the Aquarium’s Vice President of Conservation Science and Education. “If you have a curious nature or exploring spirit, you’re going to really enjoy seeing how science is an exhilarating living process.”
After they watch Amazon Adventure 3D, guests can visit the Ocean Journey building to view many longwing butterfly species fluttering about in the Butterfly Garden. There, Batesian mimicry is on full display, allowing Aquarium guests to see the evolutionary benefits of hiding in plain sight. Sometimes, this natural camouflage can be so effective it even fools the experts.
“We have lots of longwing butterflies in our garden, and they all mimic each other, so they’re hard to identify,” says Jennifer Taylor, the Aquarium’s entomologist. “Some of the longwings will have 140 different color variations, and then there’s another longwing species that mimics all of those variations as well. I have a detailed book that helps me determine which species I’m seeing. They’re a very complicated group of butterflies.”
Amazon Adventure 3D official trailer: https://youtu.be/N-PbNmXB-Hw
Amazon Adventure 3D at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater
Showtimes Beginning May 26:
Sunday – Thursday at11am, 1 & 4 pm
Friday & Saturday at 11am, 1, 4, 7 & 9 pm
Non-member: $11.95 adults; $9.95 children (3-12)
Aquarium Member: $8.00 adults; $8.00 children (3-12)
IMAX Club pass holders: Free
Purchase tickets online: http://www.tnaqua.org/plan-your-visit/ticket-information
Or, purchase the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Club Pass to see unlimited 45-minute films for one year and enjoy additional pass holder benefits: http://www.tnaqua.org/imax/imax-club
Amazon Adventure 3D Fast Facts:
- The makers of Amazon Adventure enlisted the expertise of more than 100 scientists and historical advisors
- The team’s commitment to authenticity resulted in the use of instruments and tools from the 1850s
- Henry Bates’ fascinating 11-year journey led to crucial contributions to biology including identifying 8,000 species new to science
- Bates discovered 100 species of butterflies, and some of his original collection was used for the filming of Amazon Adventure