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NHM Opens L.A. Underwater: The Prehistoric Sea Beneath Us

L.A. Underwater: The Prehistoric Sea Beneath Us is now open at the Natural History Museum. (photos from NHM)



Buzz contributor Candice Nankivell visited the Natural History Museum’s new exhibit, “L.A. Underwater: The Prehistoric Sea Beneath Us,” which opened on May 2 and showcases fossils from ancient marine life in Los Angeles.


Walking into this exhibit feels like some sort of underwater time machine, where visitors are brought to life through a huge immersive wall projection that highlights ancient giant sea life, with animals like the leatherback sea turtle that still swims the LA waters today.




This multimedia-rich immersive exhibition explores the underwater realm of prehistoric Los Angeles when much of the L.A. area was submerged beneath the waves of the Pacific Ocean. Visitors will view rare fossils from across the L.A. region and encounter huge cinematic elements showcasing sharks the size of school buses, glowing deep sea fish, giant tusk-less walruses, a 10-million-year-old whale skull discovered in Lincoln Heights, and other awe-inspiring species that roamed ancient L.A. The two-year long exhibition will feature engaging media elements that bring fossils to life and serve as reminders of the ancient ocean that still shapes L.A. today.

Many of these fossils were found by everyday Angelenos—from construction workers building the Metro line to discoveries in local neighborhoods by Museum visitors. The exhibition is organized into sections to help tell the story of Los Angeles’s underwater past, beginning with explaining what fossils are and what they can tell us about the past.

Visitors will also be able to review a linear geological timescale demonstrating when L.A. began to emerge from the ocean as it made its way towards its current form, as well as the potential effects of climate change that threaten the city’s future.

This is a unique, interactive exhibit that shares discoveries from the underwater world, both past and present, with the Los Angeles community –an experience for the whole family that’s not to be missed! The LA Underwater exhibit is now open, and is free with Museum Admission.





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