Jacques-Yves Cousteau

  • Museum’s Treasure! exhibit offers valuable lessons

    By Lannis Waters

    By Willie Howard - Palm Beach Post

    Visitors to the South Florida Science Museum can explore the quest for gold and other valuables in the days of pirates and modern times through the exhibit Treasure !, which runs through Jan. 6.

    While learning about treasure in the days of Spanish galleons and pirates, kids of any age can take turns trying to “fire” a cannon through a port hole to protect their vessel by sinking a passing pirate ship.

    Those who miss are instructed to “swab the deck, you scallywag.”

    Moving forward in time, visitors can learn about the history of the metal detector or about Geocaching — the use of hand-held GPS devices to find hidden caches, a hobby created in 2000 by Dave Ulmer near Portland, Ore.

    Treasure! is not only about the quest for precious metals and other valuables.

    It’s about the methods used to find them.

    Because scuba gear is used by divers to recover treasure from sunken Spanish galleons, the history of the Aqua Lung, invented in 1943 by Jacques Cousteau and Emile Gagnan, is featured in the exhibit.

    A more modern underwater exploration tool, the remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, is available for visitors to steer in an aquarium.

    One mysterious display describes the so-called Money Pit at Oak Island, Nova Scotia, where underground caverns discovered in the 1800s supposedly contain man-made objects.

    The island in Mahone Bay is rumored to be a place where Captain William Kidd or possibly Edward Teach (Blackbeard) buried treasure.

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