Nature Unleashed Arrives at the Canadian Museum of Nature

Nature & Environment • Posted by OttawaStart on September 27, 2012

 What's going on with nature? On September 28, 2012, the Canadian Museum of Nature will reveal the power and impact of natural disasters when it opens a stunning new internationally travelling exhibition.

Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters, produced by The Field Museum in Chicago, will educate and enthrall visitors with state-of-the-art animations, displays, compelling artefacts and demonstrations that explore the science of natural disasters. Nature Unleashed will be at the museum for seven months until May 5, 2013.

"The Canadian Museum of Nature is a perfect setting to showcase the awesome power of nature's great forces," said Meg Beckel, the museum's Director and CEO. "Nature Unleashed presents a riveting look at the dynamic relationship that humans have with the Earth and it will enrich the experience of our visitors that come to us to learn about, connect with and be inspired by the natural world."

Nature Unleashed is an interactive and engaging journey that explores four types of disasters: earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes and hurricanes. These phenomena are the spectacular results of the geological and atmospheric forces that drive our ever-changing planet. Real disasters—from Pompeii, Italy, to Papua New Guinea, and from New Orleans to the museum's own backyard in Eastern Ontario—are presented to illustrate the science behind the history and the headlines.

For its stop in Ottawa, the museum has added a timeline of Canadian natural disasters that includes a panel on the 1998 ice storm that devastated much of eastern Ontario and parts of Quebec and the Maritimes. A computer station also presents Public Safety Canada's Canadian Disaster Database.

"From the beginning, Nature Unleashed has had wide appeal. For schoolchildren, science enthusiasts and the public at large, the natural phenomena featured in this show remain as fascinating as they are frightening," said Hilary Hansen Sanders, The Field Museum's Traveling Exhibitions Manager. "We're excited to bring the Nature Unleashed exhibition to the Canadian Museum of Nature during its international tour."

Museum visitors are in for a memorable and powerful experience. They can simulate what it's like to stand inside a roaring tornado, trigger an underwater earthquake and a tsunami, create a virtual volcano, touch and examine real rock and lava specimens from past geological events, learn about the shifting effects of tectonic plates, discover how people adapt to living at risk and be inspired by the resiliency of disaster survivors.

The exhibition stresses that storms, volcanoes and other forces of natures are natural phenomena. As scientists put a sharper focus on the links between global warming and weather-related natural disasters, Nature Unleashed examines the potential impact of increasingly warm air and sea temperatures in causing more severe storms.

Nature Unleashed also examines how people can prepare for, and in some cases minimize, the impact of nature's fury, a key focus for tour sponsor Allstate Insurance Company of Canada.

Admission to Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters is with a $6 surcharge above general admission fees, which includes access to all the museum galleries. Educational programmes presented on weekends about plate tectonics and geology will complement the exhibition. Visitors can also experience the chase of a tornado through the museum's new 3D cinema feature,Tornado Alley.

The Canadian Museum of Nature is located at 240 McLeod Street, Ottawa. Until May 1, the museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, as well as extended hours on Thursday until 8:00 pm. (Also open Mondays during holiday periods). For full details, including fees and hours, visit

Follow the museum on Twitter (@MuseumofNature, #natureunleashed) or become a fan on Facebook.

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