Mysteries of the Great Lakes

The Saint Louis Science Center has been hosting SciFest this week.  Anne has been either working or not feeling well enough to go until today.  I biked in the Park this morning and bought tickets for the OmniMax movie show, Mysteries of the Great Lakes (check out the trailer).  After purchasing the tickets, I asked the clerk if he expected a sell out or not.  He said that as of now (i.e. after I had bought two tickets), he had 310 tickets left out of a 315 maximum seating capacity.  I finished biking in the Park.  I got 25 miles.  I got home and was turned around in plenty of time for us to catch the noon show.

There was a crowd when they opened the auditorium, but we were still able to get good seats near the projector.  The previews for other movies and the opening scenes of this movie were a bit vertiginous, but our stomachs held fast.  The film is a Canadian production, but seemed mainly centered around Michigan’s Upper Pennesula and Wisconsin.  The film’s sponsors from FEDNAV to Highway H2O are a boat nerds dream come true.

The movie was great!  There was the obligatory Gordon Lightfoot singing the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, but even so it was only a small part of the movie.  There were interesting factoids like, It takes a drop of water nearly 400 years to travel from the headwaters of Lake Superior to the ocean.  One troubling factoid was that Sault Ste. Marie is one of 46 toxic hot spots on the Great Lakes.  The real theme of the movie is environmental.  The central character of the movie is the Great Lakes Sturgeon.  Sturgeon’s have fossil records ten times older then the lakes themselves.  99% of the sturgeon population has been wiped out by intense fishing.  The climax of the movie films a sturgeon restoration project.

The movie also does an excellent job presenting the dangers of invasive species, who often hitch a ride into Great Lakes waterways through the bilge water of ships.  For example, the lamprey is a non-native species that feeds on other fish, and thus has a high concentration of mercury.  Bald eagles catch the lamprey and feed it to their babies, who fall ill and die.

It was not quite like being at the Cabin, but it was virtually there.

4 thoughts on “Mysteries of the Great Lakes

Leave a Reply