Taichung exhibition makes nature larger than life

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 - Page 3

Children were invited to walk into the stomach of a 70m-long canvas balloon sperm whale at the opening of the “Wonderland of Animals and Insects of Taiwan” exhibition in Greater Taichung yesterday.

Serving as the exhibit’s main pavilion, the stomach of the inflatable whale can fit approximately 100 people inside at once to explore the marine environment around them. It features underwater animals and a sunken ship that are projected onto the canvas, inviting visitors to imagine that they have been swallowed by the whale, event organizer the Paper Windmill Cultural Foundation said.

More than 70 giant replicas of animals and insects will be displayed at Greater Taichung’s Wenhsin Forest Park (文心森林公園) starting on Children’s Day on April 4 to inspire kids to be interested in nature and learn about animals.

By making the insect replicas thousands of times larger than their original size, the foundation is aiming to make visitors see the world through the eyes of much smaller creatures and appreciate the magnificence of the bugs that they encounter every day.

Citing information from National Taiwan University’s Department and Graduate Institute of Entomology, the foundation said that about 85 percent of all the animal species discovered in the world so far are insects, amounting to more than 30 million species, an estimated 200,000 of which are found in Taiwan.

The exhibition also features animal-themed theatrical performances and recreational activities such as firefly bicycles, bat monkey bars or hoop throwing that families can enjoy together. It will run through April 14.