Macropinna microstoma

Macropinna microstoma

Macropinna microstoma is one of the most complex and complicated castings that we ever did. The strange fluid-filled dome on its head was build up from eye sockets with handmade eyes cast in semi translucent resin, vacuum formed scales at the inner head, cotton fibers to make foggy areas, and a sheet of vacuum formed plastic to mimic an inner jelly layer covering the eye section. All dressed, painted and placed back in the original mould to make the massive dome from crystal clear resin. The model was perfect in first shot.

Ecological Education Centre - HYDROPOLIS

This strangest fish of them all is the only species of fish belonging to the barreleye family, hence its barreleye-shapes eyes. It is recognized for a highly unusual transparent, fluid-filled dome on its head, through which the lenses of its eyes can be seen. The eyes can be rotated to point either forward or straight up, looking through the fish's transparent dome. Macropinna microstoma has a tiny mouth and most of its body is covered with large scales. The fish normally hangs nearly motionless in the water, at a depth of about 600 metres to 800 metres, using its large fins for stability and with its eyes directed upward. In the low light conditions it is assumed the fish detects prey by its silhouette.

Macropinna microstoma has been known to science since 1939, but is not known to have been photographed alive until 2004. It was not until 2004 that it came clear how the fish had a transparent dome as a head - old drawings didn’t display this feature, as it is usually destroyed when brought up from the depths. Int the 2004 video, scientist could also detect feeding behaviour: When prey such as small fish and jellyfish are spotted, the eyes rotate like binoculars, facing forward as it turns its body from a horizontal to a vertical position to feed.


Project by ART FM creative team

Exhibit designers:
Łukasz Markiewicz, Awiszaj Hadari (Avishay Ave Hadari)


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Location: Wrocław, Poland
Year: 2015
Size: 4000 m²
Investor: Municipal Waterworks and Drainage Company Ltd. in Wrocław
Scope: design for the exhibition arrangement, narrative script, interior designs, interactive installation prototype designs, multimedia designs and production

The HYDROPOLIS Environmental Education Center is a unique place, combining education with modern forms of exhibition. The main subject of the exhibition is water – a substance that is everywhere on our planet.

This is a narrative exhibition. Visitors actively take part in the story of the origins of water in the universe, encounter the incredible creatures from the depths of the ocean, and take to the surface to understand its imperative function in the environment and its role in human vital functions. They also learn the history of water engineering, from Antiquity to present-day methods of water management.

HYDROPOLIS is a place where diverse multimedia technologies, art installations, replicas and real-life models serve a common goal: to show water from varied and fascinating perspectives.

A historical 19th-century underground pure water reservoir has been adapted for the purposes of the exhibition.