If there is one part of the Earth’s rich history and life story that seems to fascinate us more than any other, it is probably the prehistoric age of the dinosaurs. Now, thanks to the launch of an exciting new exhibition at the Pushpa Gujral Science City, these fantastic creatures are roaming the planet once again.
The addition of robotic dinosaurs to this impressive project found in the heart of Punjab highlights humanity’s enduring interest in the creatures and perhaps demonstrates more than anything else how our love affair with them shows no sign of diminishing anytime soon. But just when did our love of dinosaurs first truly begin?
A pop culture phenomenon
Dinosaurs have arguably been a core part of our popular culture since the very word – which means terrible lizard – was first coined by Sir Richard Owen all the way back in the 1840s. Jules Verne’s sci-fi classic Journey to the Centre of the Earth was then released just two decades later, with the book putting prehistoric creatures such as mastodons and the plesiosaurus centre stage as a German professor and his nephew travel through volcanic tubes to discover incredible worlds beneath our own.
Our love of dinosaurs has endured since then, but perhaps reached a whole new level of interest in 1993 with the release of Jurassic Park, Steven Spielberg’s adventure classic based on the novel of the same name by Michael Crichton. The film’s range of impressive special effects brought dinosaurs back to life in a manner never seen before on the big screen and went on to have a lasting legacy in numerous ways, spawning sequels, video games, theme park rides, and even online slots games like on Betway Casino, all of which use audio and visuals to evoke the incredible, action-packed atmosphere of the movie.
Of course, the long-term impact of Jurassic Park can clearly be seen in recent years thanks to the release of the Jurassic World film and this year’s sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Successfully rekindling our memories of the original Jurassic Park films and also bringing a new level of excitement and adventure to the series, the recent movies starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard undoubtedly demonstrate how we continue to have a major appetite for all things dinosaur related.
First of its kind
But just what exactly can dinosaur fans expect from the new exhibits at the Pushpa Gujral Science City, which were originally introduced to the public in late October? As NDTV.com outlines, the new gallery of robotic dinosaurs is thought to be the first of its kind found anywhere in India. A total of seven moving dinosaurs have been introduced to the site, each created using the latest technology, including a combination of steel and silica gel that functions alongside motors.
The models have been added to an existing gallery featuring 46 other dinosaur-related exhibits, with the site’s Director General Mohd Tayyab explaining to NDTV how the entire concept was designed to tell the story of the dinosaurs from their birth through the various stages of their evolution to their eventual extinction.
It is hoped that the gallery will have significant value in terms of education, with students expected to be among those likely to attend.
A range of attractions
The addition of the robotic dinosaurs is sure to prove a big hit at the Pushpa Gujral Science City, which was first established as part of a joint project between the national government and the government of Punjab. Created in 72 acres of land on the Jalandhar-Kapurthala Road, the site’s foundation stone was laid in 1997, and the first phase of the city was inaugurated in March 2005. The initial attractions at the site including the Laser Theatre, a flight simulator and the Space Theatre, an auditorium with capacity for more than 300 people where large format films can be projected on a 23-metre tilted dome.
The second phase of the project saw the addition of further galleries, including the Science of Sports, the Amazing Living Machine and the Earthquake simulator, a 30-seat show which sees visitors immersed in a realistic experience of being involved in an earthquake.
The Dinosaur Park was also a part of the second phase and features exhibitions that split the creatures into the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. It also features plant life added to resemble the greenery seen in the era and also a 35-foot high model of a volcano.
An enduring love
Almost two centuries since the term ‘dinosaur’ was first used by experts, it would appear our love and fascination of the prehistoric beasts remains as strong as ever. Furthermore, we are continuing to learn new and exciting things about them every year, with the recent discovery of the ornithopod Weewarrasaurus pobeni in the Australian outback being a fine example of how there remains so much we simply do not know about these creatures.
Against this backdrop and the release of blockbusters celebrating dinosaurs, the introduction of the robotic versions at Pushpa Gujral Science City seems very timely indeed. The creatures continue to be hugely popular with people of all ages, and the new animatronic exhibits at the park may only add to the sense of the wonder that these beasts continue to inspire across the globe.