Sir David Attenborough — younger brother of the late Richard Attenborough, who payed John Hammond in director Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park — has unvealed an £80 million (that’s roughly $122 million U.S.) planned dinosaur attraction. If the Dorset museum, which’ll host this new “Jurassic Park,” goes ahead with the project, visitors will get to be transported back 150 million years in order to have a look at swimming plesiosaurs. OK, robot swimming plesiosaurs. But still.
This real Jurassic Park is actually called Jurassic Cove. It will be part of Jurassica, which is meant to be “the world’s most spectacular prehistoric visitor attraction.” The name of Jurassic Cove itself comes courtesy of the scientist journalist Michael Hanlon, who came up with the idea (and wanted to avoid confusion with the book and movie) and revealed that “The Jurassic Cove will not be a theme park display, but a spectacular and precise snapshot in time that will bring the heritage of the Jurassic Cove to life for the first time.”
Attenborough is the project patron of this scientific endeavor, and to whet our appetite for the real thing, he unveiled a 1:100 scale model of Jurassic Cove. So, what are we going to find in this park? Well, an estimated 600,000 annual visitors will be able to check out galleries of fossils, prehistoric plants and sea shells. It’ll also include a saltwater lagoon, sea caves, rock stacks, arches and living corals, with pterosaurs (which will be life-sized sculptures) perching on the rock ledges of Dorset. Visitors will also be able to peer at ancient marine organisms and those swimming plesiosaurs we talked about. Although, to be fair, they won’t be REAL plesiosaurs brought back to life with the help of DNA harvested from an amber-fossilized prehistoric insect, but rather robotic ones in an actual aquarium. What's a bit of a bummer is that it doesn't say anything about cunning and hungry velociraptors, or whether you'll have to flee posthaste from a murderous Tyrannosaurus rex as well.
Photo copyright David Lazenby, Azureus Design Ltd.
Now, for a little backstory about the site. Dorset, or the Isle of Portland, to be exact, is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, and has been so since 2001. It’s part of the 95-mile Jurassic Coast that stretches from East Devon to old Harry Rocks in Dorset. The site is believed to be the only place in the whole-wide-world that displays signs of millions of years of geological history.
Don’t expect to walk among the dinosaurs and see that park until 2021, though, and that’s if Hanlon manages to raise the whopping £80 million needed to build Jurassica. Despite being backed by the Royal Society and Natural History Museum, the project has only managed to get a £300,000 grant from a government-funded local business scheme so far. Will you dig deep in your pockets and help get Jurassic Cove and Jurassica off the ground?
(via Radio Times)