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The Science of Ripley's Believe It or Not! ®

What’s even more amazing than Robert Ripley’s legendary compendium of
oddities, anomalies and fantastic feats? The science that underlies them.

The Science of Ripley's Believe It or Not!®

This 600 sq m (6,000 sq ft) highly interactive traveling exhibit is an adventure through the remarkable realms of scientific discoveries and real artifacts. Through experiments, challenges, touchable specimens, computer interactives and multimedia experiences, visitor of all ages will delve into these astounding wonders. They will follow their natural interest and curiosity in the unusual and remarkable as they explore the real science behind the unbelievable. Guests will go places they’ve never imagined, exploring the frontiers of knowledge and our understanding of the world, by way of an extraordinary collection of intriguing objects, astonishing artifacts, and first-class experiences.

Prepare for an incredible journey, where the unexplainable will be explained by science! The entrance experience sets the stage for the rest of the exhibit, through representative artifacts and photo opportunities, where you will become completely immersed in the world of The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! ®.

The goals of The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! ® exhibit are to:

  • Demonstrate that science can explain the unexplainable, and to reveal the science behind the weird and wonderful.
  • Engage visitors in real science experiences by appealing to their natural sense of curiosity, investigation and exploration.

The following are key messages of The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! ® exhibit:

  • We can apply scientific investigation to better understand our world, including what we initially perceive to be weird and unusual.
  • Advancing technologies and scientific tools help us to explain and understand the mysteries of our amazing world.
  • Mr. Ripley was a trailblazing collector who exemplified the spirit of curiosity and adventure that resonates with people of all backgrounds.

Extreme Biology - Animals, Plants and People

Feel dwarfed by some of the world’s largest organisms, and invaded by some of the smallest, as you discover the science behind our planet’s most extreme biology. Challenge yourself to find 10 tiny animals, check out cow hairballs and whale lice, and get a glimpse into your future at the Age Yourself exhibit.

The Wonderful World of Ripley

Mr. Ripley was an explorer extraordinaire who traveled the world, collecting artifacts and stories from the remarkable people and places he encountered. Hear from the adventurer himself about what drove his curiosity into the unknown, and see some of the actual objects that he collected. Browse through decades of cartoons by, letters for, and video of the man behind the Ripley Entertainment Inc. franchise. '

Weird World - Past and Present

We live on an amazing planet that is full of incredible phenomena, which may appear unbelievable at a first glance. From geologic formations such as gigantic mineral crystals, to exploding killer lakes, there is a scientific explanation behind every wonder of the natural world. We can learn about how different our earth was in the past by studying evidence such as fossils preserved in the rocks.

Cultural Practices

Investigate extraordinary body modification techniques practiced by cultures around the world and how these aesthetic changes affect the functioning of the human body.
Uncover how it is biologically possible to safely swallow a sword, and then order up an insect dish at the Bug Bistro to learn about entomophagy, the practice of eating insects. Explore how shrunken heads were made, and the cultural reasons for them.
Note: Displaying human remains is a sensitive topic and will be done respectfully and in appropriate historical and cultural context. This zone will be designed so that any host venues that are uncomfortable displaying human remains can omit this area from the display.

Gallery of the Unexpected

Explore objects that represent Mr. Ripley’s legacy of inspiring people to create unique art and collect unusual things. Find out how artist Willard Wigan is able to make exquisite sculptures so tiny they can fit in the eye of a needle. Delve into the science of color mixing and pixelation to gain a new perspective of the objects on display, and perhaps look at them in a whole new way. This area has seating for visitors to pause and enjoy the art around them, and watch short videos that reveal the creative processes behind the works.

Perceptions and Illusions

How do illusions work? Illusions exploit the way our brains process sensory information to turn it into an image, smell, or sound we can comprehend. Trick your sight, touch and hearing and learn how we perceive the world around us. These amazing illusions will keep you fooled even after you learn how they work!
Note: This description represents an exhibition that is under development. Concepts and exhibits are subject to change. and ages.

The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not… believe it

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705-522-3701 ext. 308



Science North

Science North is Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attraction and an educational resource for children and adults across the province. Science North maintains the second- and eighth-largest science centres in Canada: Science North, featuring an IMAX® theatre, digital Planetarium, butterfly gallery and Special Exhibits Hall, and Dynamic Earth – Home of the Big Nickel, an earth sciences centre.

In addition to the two science centres in Sudbury, Science North also oversees an award-winning Large Format Film production unit and an Exhibit Sales and Service unit, which develops custom and ready-made exhibits for sale or lease to science centres, museums, and other cultural institutions all over the world.

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