Mar Jurásico

Leisure and culture come together in the largest paleontological park in Europe

Can scientific rigour and enjoyment be combined for all audiences in a cultural experience that recreates the origins of life?

Discussing the sea and coastal landscape of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras—going back millions of years—in an engaging manner is no easy feat. Doing so with scientific rigour is even more of a challenge; one that has been taken on by Dinópolis in Teruel—the largest paleontological park in Europe, which attracts thousands of visitors of all ages.

Yet, Mar Jurásico (Jurassic Sea), the latest expansion of the Teruel-based park, has achieved just that. Through 3D projections, audiovisual presentations, interactive experiences, museographic elements and artificial intelligence, it recreates a marine adventure through time. This journey narrates the flourishing of life in ancient seas and the evolution of ecosystems until the Mesozoic era, when dinosaurs ruled the land.

To maintain an unparalleled level of realism in this multi-sensory experience, we sought the scientific endorsement of the Teruel-Dinópolis Foundation’s team of palaeontologists, with whom we collaborated closely. This is no easy task considering that palaeontology is constantly evolving, uncovering new revelations about our origins.

The adventure to the depths of the sea begins in a “bathyscaphe”, a simulator that transports us to the abyss of the Sirena Deep, in the Mariana Trench. The route consists of six themed rooms: The Vestibule, the Reef, the Chasm, the Aquarium, the Volcano and the Coast. Throughout these spaces, audiovisual resources use AI to ensure that the movement of marine animals remains constant, giving visitors an authentic aquarium experience, and these displays in turn are complemented by static museographic content. In this experience, visitors will encounter a replica measuring nearly two metres in diameter of one of the largest ammonites found to date, a reconstruction of the skull of a megapredator, sculptures of flying reptiles, and the world’s only replica of a large Spinosaurus leaping into the water as the grand finale of the entire route.

For the realisation of this project, ACCIONA Cultura coordinated a diverse team of over 130 professionals, including museographers, creatives, artists, sculptors, replica and model manufacturing experts, specialists in audiovisual hardware and software, digital and multimedia experts, lighting and sound designers and electromechanical specialists, among others.

This is not the first time that ACCIONA Cultura has partnered with Dinópolis. In 2001, it worked on the thematic development of one of the central attractions of the Teruel-based park, which was inaugurated the same year: the Tyrannosaurus Rex show. Thanks to a large-scale robot and an environment with set design and audiovisual effects, visitors can learn more about this fierce predator from the Cretaceous period.

Jurassic Sea marks the initial phase of the Improvement and Expansion Plan for Dinópolis’ headquarters in Teruel. The museum boasts the largest collection of original fossils from giant dinosaurs in Europe, making it one of the region’s premier tourist attractions.