The Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History displays images capturing Alvin’s manipulator arms as part of the museum’s subsea exploration exhibit. Included in the image is an attached Deep Sea Power and Light (DSPL) Hydrargyrum Medium-Arc Iodide (HMI) SeaArc® light to illuminate the ocean depths . The exhibit focuses on hydrothermal vents, magnetic strips, and other discoveries that subsea Human Occupied Vehicles (HOVs) have made to support and develop our understanding of plate tectonics and Earth’s movement.
Though Alvin’s operating organization, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), considered retiring Alvin at the Sant Ocean Hall, its size and weight were too large for the hall’s space. Instead, Alvin received significant upgrades and reconstruction through 2013 to continue exploration to previously unreachable depths. A two-part series of Alvin’s renovation and advancements is available to view on Youtube.
If you are in the Washington DC area, stop by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History to view the Deep Ocean Exploration exhibit, or attend the Ocean Explorer Theater to experience the deep sea world from the viewpoint of Alvin’s cabin.