HomeSant Ocean Hall

Sant Ocean Hall (Smithsonian)

The Sant Ocean Hall ( is the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's largest exhibit, providing visitors with a unique and breathtaking introduction to the majesty of the ocean. With over 600 specimens, artifacts, and models; large photo murals; and computer and mechanical interactives, this exhibit interprets the ocean as the source and sustainer of all life.  Visitors entering the 23,000-square-foot exhibition will see a precise replica of a 45-foot-long North Atlantic Right Whale, named Phoenix, who has been tracked by scientists since her birth in 1987, and a giant squid — so rarely seen that a living squid was not caught on camera until 2004. A unique underwater experience is created by "Ocean Odyssey," a high-definition film by renowned underwater cinematographer Feodor Pitcairn.  This film uses 12 WatchOut computer-based media servers to provide the source material for a high-definition film that wraps the Hall's high bay walls in images of underwater life using Sony's new 4K projection system.

The Smithsonian also teamed up with NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) to sculpt an interactive 5½-foot-diameter sphere that represents a view of our planet from the perspective of a spectator 22,000 miles above its surface. With a direct, real-time link to NOAA, the computer-activated display instantaneously reflects weather conditions as they exist around the globe.  Aptly positioned about the hall, and supported by a multitude of onsite servers, are numerous interactive kiosks that, with the use of touchscreens, enable visitors to probe deeper into additional subjects relative to the particular display of interest.  Barron Systems' Master Scheduler runs on a dedicated PC and communicates the scheduling information for not only the Ocean Gallery but the Human Origins Gallery in the space next door also runs its schedule from the same scheduling software.