by Nikhil Srinivasan

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History visitors can step into the belly of the beast when the “Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived” exhibit returns Sept. 19.

The exhibit, which has thrilled more than 1.5 million people since its 2008 debut, features a life-size walk-through model of Megalodon and describes the evolution, biology and legends of giant prehistoric sharks.

shark exhibit at megladon museum

Walk through a life-size replica of the apex predator itself, complete with fossil specimens and information on its diet, lifespan, relatives, neighbors and eventual extinction. ©Photo courtesy of the Science Spectrum & OMNI Theater

Exhibits Coordinator Julie Waters said the museum recently refurbished the popular touring exhibit and will showcase all the new bells and whistles to Gainesville visitors before it goes back on the road.

“‘Megalodon’ continues to fascinate visitors around the world, so we decided to give the exhibit some TLC before extending the traveling tour,” Waters said. “We updated some of the older scientific content and refreshed many of the components with new graphics, wall structures and a fresh paint job. This gave the exhibit a new look, and we can’t wait for the community to see it!”

bones of sharks and teeth in a museum display tank

Learn about the 400-million-year-old history of sharks with real fossils of bones and teeth. ©Kristen Grace/Florida Museum

“Megalodon” showcases both fossil and modern shark specimens, as well as full-scale models of various sharks. Visitors can enjoy the bone-chilling experience of entering a 60-foot-long sculpture of Megalodon through its massive jaws and discover the shark’s history, including its diet, lifespan, relatives, neighbors and eventual extinction. The exhibit also provides examples of how Megalodon has influenced human culture for thousands of years.

jaws of shrks and a sharks tooth

Learn about the 400-million-year-old history of sharks with real fossils of bones and teeth. ©Kristen Grace/Florida Museum

After “Megalodon” premiered at the Florida Museum 12 years ago, it toured museums across the U.S. and Canada, including a return to Gainesville in 2014 by popular demand.

Admission to “Megalodon” is $8 for adults; $7 for Florida residents, seniors and non-UF college students; $5.50 for ages 3-17; and free to museum members and UF students with a valid Gator 1 card. The Florida Museum will display the exhibit through Jan. 10, 2021.

This exhibit was created by the Florida Museum with support from the National Science Foundation and sponsored in part by the University of Florida Student Government and Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.

For more information, visit www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/exhibits/megalodon or call 352-846-2000.