A look at the coral world
Today, almost everyone has a mental image of the oceans' coral reefs. The rich and colourful underwater world of these unique habitats offers plenty of material for scientific documentation or popular movies. When the idea for the exhibition of a tropical coral reef was born in the 1970s at the Oceanographic Museum in Stralsund, this was still a special attraction in our latitudes. At that time, much less was known about coral reefs and their inhabitants.
To fill this vacuum of knowledge, the museum's scientists conducted two fishing and research expeditions in 1976 and again in 1979 to the Red Sea, then a rare opportunity for East German marine scientists. They returned with a plethora of captive animals, photographs and research results.
The hard corals brought back from the Red Sea formed the basis for the overall nine-metre-high section of a coral reef. The more than thirty-year-old cabinet in front of the chancel of St Catherine's Hall shows today the diversity of life between the corals, a scientific and taxidermy masterpiece at that time.
After generations of museum visitors have enjoyed the coral reefs, they exhibit underwent a thorough overhaul a few years ago. The tank has received a new glazing, and the representation of the reef inhabitants has become even more comprehensive by showing a day and night cycle, as well as individual and typical scenarios. The visitors can also experience the underwater life acoustically.