Aquarium offers shark cage experience

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A UK public aquarium is offering visitors the opportunity to come face to face with Great white sharks from the safety of a shark cage, without even getting wet.

The Bournemouth Oceanarium aquarium launched the world's first "interactive dive cage" experience last week.

Using a series of plasma screens, visitors are immersed in a virtual underwater world, and can get up close up with Great whites, dolphins, turtles and even a Blue whale, albeit digitally.

You can see what to expect of the experience in this footage from the BBC's Meridian news programme.

The Oceanarium said: "Hundreds of people visited the Oceanarium to see the new Interactive Dive Cage, which submerges visitors in a 270-degree continuous view of the ocean. Interactive touch screens bring visitors up close to sea creatures through a series of animated experiences, games and challenges.

"Visitors can pit their wits against a playful dolphin or test their knowledge of how a great white tracks its prey. It also features an amazing encounter with a blue whale that swallows the whole Cage, taking visitors on a journey through its digestive system. When the whale comes up for air, the Dive Cage is ejected through the blowhole and then it splashes down into the ocean."

The dive cage, which features twelve 50-inch plasma screens and more than 170,000 frames of video and animation, cost over 200,000 to create.

Visitors can press a button to engage certain senses in the fish they're watching - such as triggering electroreception in a shark - in order to see what the response is like.

Visitors can even be swallowed by a Blue whale...