Sharks Make a Splash at Miami Museum

Everything you ever wanted to know about sharks—and more—is on display now through April 21, 2024, at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (Frost Science) in downtown Miami, FL.
Sharks is a traveling exhibition from the Australian Museum in Sydney. It invites visitors to expand their knowledge of sharks and explore the natural history of these fearsome creatures dating back 450 million years, their genetic diversity, interactions, range, and significance as the apex predators of ocean ecosystems.

Among the displays are:

  • Ten scientifically accurate life-sized models of different shark species, including the notorious great white shark.
  • Interactive displays allowing you to navigate through a shark body via a 3-D interactive scan, adapt a shark to evolve and survive in different environments, and see the world in 360 degrees through the eyes of a hammerhead shark.
  • Tactile displays including shark skin re-creations, a great white shark jawbone, tiger shark teeth, and a megalodon jaw. (Megalodons were prehistoric monsters about 66 feet long. They dominated the oceans for up to 20 million years before dying out about 3.5 million years ago during a mass oceanic extinction.)

Another portion of the exhibition focuses on the shark species that dwell in south Florida waters, including a hammerhead nursery in Biscayne Bay adjacent to Frost Science.

More sights to see
Other highlights of a Frost Science experience include:

  • A planetarium with advanced projection and sound systems, displayed on a seamless 67-foot-diameter full-dome screen.
  • A 500,000-gallon Gulf Stream Aquarium with more than 9,000 square feet of tank surface area, from which you can view multiple species of fish on three of the museum’s six levels through a huge 13.5-inch-thick acrylic oculus lens.
  • A re-creation in miniature of south Florida’s unique Everglades and other local ecosystems.
  • The Marine Conservation Wetlab, where research on corals, jellyfish, and other marine invertebrates takes place.

Building design
Frost Science opened in 2017, and in 2019 received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification for its sustainable and energy-efficient design. Among its features are graywater and rainwater collection systems, and a rooftop solar farm that generates power for the building.

Initially its design evoked controversy, due to its proximity to Biscayne Bay and potential flooding from sea-level rise and hurricane storm surges.

The foundation consists of waterproof concrete, with water-tight storm-surge doors protecting enclosed spaces. The foundation and open parking rise to nine feet six inches above sea level, and the first level is 21 feet eight inches above sea level. The emergency generators, main electrical rooms, air-conditioning systems, and aquarium life-support systems are at 37 feet six inches—well above any anticipated risk of flooding. So far, so good.

Have artifacts, will travel
The Sharks exhibit is among three presented at Frost Science in 2023. You can learn about the others online:
Ultimate Dinosaurs: Meet a New Breed of Beast (Southern Hemisphere dinosaurs), presented by the Science Museum of Minnesota, and created and produced by The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (; and Mummies of the World: The Exhibition, presented by NEON and World Heritage Exhibitions, LLC (

These exhibits are part of a growing trend. While art museums have long loaned works from their collections for special thematic shows, history and natural-history museums are now joining the act. World Heritage Exhibitions is a museum without walls that creates content for traveling museum exhibits. Planetariums also are swapping spectacular multi-media presentations.

If you’re going on vacation somewhere in the vicinity of bricks-and-mortar museums, check before you depart to see what special shows may be on their calendars. Also, if you’re an Association of Science and Technology Centers ( member in your home town, see whether the museums where you’re visiting will grant you free or discounted guest admission.Share your travel stories. Email: