Released June 21, 2024

Reimagined Ancient Seas Opens June 8

INDIANAPOLIS (May 30, 2024) — Visitors can immerse themselves in a totally different Indiana — one that existed millions of years in the past — when the Indiana State Museum opens its newly reimagined Ancient Seas experience on June 8.

While Ancient Seas has been a mainstay at the museum since it opened at White River State Park in 2002, this exhibit has been completely transformed to place visitors at the center of the story of how the state’s environment has changed over time. The new, interactive experience, which is made possible with generous support from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and Sarah and John Lechleiter, will take visitors on a captivating journey back to the Paleozoic Era when unique and unfamiliar species filled the shallow seas and ancient forests across the Midwest.

“It will look pretty alien, but it is still Indiana,” said Chief Officer of Engagement Brian Mancuso.

Giant sea creatures and translucent blue panels hanging overhead will give visitors a feeling of being under water as they step into the first-floor exhibit. At the center of the space, an immersive digital experience will take visitors below the waves to come face to face with species that went extinct long ago. Surrounded by vibrant images and sounds, visitors can follow a eurypterid, or “sea scorpion,” as it hunts its prey or dust off the ocean floor to discover a trilobite then watch it scurry away.

“You can bring the fossils back to life and watch how the animals moved in their natural environment,” said Mancuso.

In addition to the technology enhancements, the new Ancient Seas will feature nearly 200 fossils from the museum’s collection, including several pieces that were recently acquired. Plus, visitors can use their senses to discover different aspects of the prehistoric landscape through hands-on activities, like building a crinoid or smelling simulated shark vomit.

Ancient Seas is included with museum admission, which is $20 for adults, $14 for youth (ages 3-17) and $18 for seniors. Visitors can go to to learn more and save on admission by purchasing tickets in advance.

# # #

About the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites
The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is a museum system with 12 locations across the state, offering visitors a chance to engage with Indiana’s past and present and see how their actions help shape the future. At each location, visitors are invited to explore big questions and create lasting experiences that will resonate long after each visit ends. Whether interested in art or architecture, history or science, there’s something for everyone and every interest. The Indianapolis museum is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The historic sites are located across the state, stretching from Rome City in northeastern Indiana to Evansville in the southwest. Learn more at