Children can board
Children can board the submarine and take control at the helm, peer through the periscope and crank the propeller. Image Credit: SBA

Sharjah: Children can go on a submarine-themed Voyage to the Deep interactive exhibition at the ongoing Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival at the Expo Centre.

The exhibit in Hall 6 will teach young explorers about the workings of submarines, marine biology and habitats, diving equipment and maritime archaeology.

The antique science-fiction themed attraction, organised by the Australian National Maritime Museum, is inspired by the Nautilus submarine from the classic novel ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ by French author Jules Verne.

Designed for two to 10-year-olds, the exhibit blends fantasy and facts to encourage learning about the ocean. Keeping in line with the theme ‘Explore Knowledge,’ the exhibit takes visitors to the centre of this fantasy world with a giant replica Nautilus.

Children can board the submarine and take control at the helm, peer through the periscope, crank the propeller, test out the bunks and explore Caption Nemo’s mysterious salon.

The Nautilus is divided into five rooms: control room, navigation room, salon, living quarters and engine room. In the control room you will find navigational devices, dive boots that are deceptively heavy, information about deep sea divers and their equipment. In the navigation room, children can access the conning tower, which allows the navigator to see in all directions and communicate with visitors in the control room.

The salon is where the treasure lies. Captain Nemo kept his musical pipe organ and many cases for the display of marine animals, shells, and other specimens that visitors can explore under the microscope. The living quarter is located in the stern of the ship, followed by the engine room. The journey into this exhibition is an ongoing history, geology, zoology, and geography lesson.

Verne imagined his Nautilus long before submarines were ever used to explore the sea. At that time, the idea of exploring the depths of the seas was still very much a fantasy, as much for inventors and authors.

The 11th annual edition of SCRF ends on April 27.