Like a dormant volcano on a prehistoric island, a mysterious Jurassic Park-themed viral site that quietly appeared late in 2017 is finally rumbling to life, bringing to the surface some fresh buzz ahead of the release of this summer’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Pitched as a landing place for conservationists who want to add their voice to the growing chorus of dino lovers bent on coexisting alongside the film franchise’s expanding menagerie of artificially revived species, the website for the “Dinosaur Protection Group” saw a spark of new activity only a day after a fresh trailer for the movie appeared during Super Bowl LII.
Visit the site and you’ll be greeted by a decidedly kid-centric photo of a reformed Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) working happily in the trenches, visiting classrooms to sell kids on the idea that, in the aftermath of Jurassic World’s chaos, humans owe dinosaurs a lot more than a lifetime sentence to the confines of a theme park. Naturally, the whole "outreach" project comes fully loaded with an all-out social media campaign, too.
“We brought the dinosaurs back into the world; it’s now our responsibility to protect these magnificent creatures,” the site admonishes, before Claire herself chimes in with a blog post to give a hard tug at our animal-loving conscience:
“As some of you know from my public testimony, the disaster at the park in 2015 left me with new understanding of the world around me, and the value of these magnificent animals ... I was, sad to say, part of the machine. Unwitting, blind, lost in my career focus. Lost in the small picture while the big picture loomed in the shadows. Sadly, I didn’t see it coming until it was almost too late. Almost. Because there’s still time to make this right. The dinosaurs need help. They need a voice. And we’re going to do our best to fill that role.”
Whoa —how salty are those dinosaur tears?
Lurking beneath all the sentiment is DPG’s grave attention to an even more urgent threat: the Mount Sibo volcano that appears to be burbling back to life on Isla Nublar. The molten menace even gets its own super-serious “Volcano Watch” monitoring page, complete with seismographic readouts and an infrared eruption simulator. At least if this thing blows, we can’t say we weren’t warned.
It’s all super-realistic, buttressed by plenty of legal-sounding language that declares DPG immune from paid influence or conflicts of interest. The phony nonprofit doesn’t take real-world donations (of course), but visitors are invited to sign up for email updates to stay up on all the latest from DPG’s home base in San Francisco.
With the movie’s release date still on the distant horizon, the DPG site looks set to keep fans preoccupied with plenty of geeky dino info — researched, so far as we can tell, to be scientifically accurate. If nothing else, it’s definitely a fun way to memorize those five-syllable species names that are sure to turn up at your next dinosaur-themed spelling bee.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom roars into theaters on June 22, 2018.