Dive Into a World of Deep-Sea Exploration with the Mayborn Museum’s SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure Exhibit

  • shipwrecked cannon
    Cannon in World of Pirates, courtesy photo.
  • shipwrecked wheel room
    SSR Uderwater Wheelroom, courtesy photo
April 30, 2015

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Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (April 30, 2015) – Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum Complex will host its newest traveling exhibition, SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure, which will give visitors a chance to dive into a fascinating world thousands of miles below sea-level. The exhibit, created by Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc., a deep-ocean exploration company, will be open from Saturday, May 2, to Wednesday, Sept. 16.

“This artifact-rich exhibit with its participatory learning component is exactly the type of unique experience we are pleased to offer the community,” said Ellie Caston, Ph.D., director of the museum.

The exhibit takes visitors on a voyage through 2,000 years of nautical history, with more than 500 authentic shipwreck artifacts recovered by Odyssey in the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel and the Mediterranean Sea on display. Guests will hear the legends of pirates such as Blackbeard and learn how to identify pirate ships on the horizon using spyglasses.

SHIPWRECK! focuses on the tale of the Civil War-era SS Republic, which sank off the coast of Georgia in 1865. Its tragic history is brought to life with maps, artifacts and first-hand accounts from passengers on board for her final, ill-fated journey.

In addition to educating visitors on some of the world’s greatest maritime stories, SHIPWRECK! provides visitors with a chance to experience the adventure of deep-sea exploration with numerous interactive elements.

“We’re very excited about the exhibit due to its quality and interesting subject matter,” said Rebecca Tucker Nall, assistant director of communication at the museum. “It combines artifacts with hands-on learning for an excellent informal education experience.”

Interactive elements will allow visitors to create their own pirate, recover treasure with an operable model of Odyssey’s Remotely-Operated Vehicle ZEUS’s robotic arm and, for the truly brave, test out 75-mph winds in a hurricane simulator. In addition, a photomosaic of the SS Republic allows visitors to zoom in on specific areas of the shipwreck to find artifacts as small as a domino.

As part of the exhibit, special events and activities will be hosted each Tuesday in July. All performances will take place at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the SBC Theater. The schedule of events is as follows:

July 7, Ahoy – Treasure! With Nancy Worcester

Join ventriloquist and storyteller Nancy Worcester as she artfully blends education and entertainment with an engaging performance for all ages.

July 14, Oceans Rock! With Walt Whittington

Enjoy a hands-on presentation that includes fossils such as ammonites and troglodytes, prehistoric Megalodon shark teeth and a hungry Great White Shark.

July 21, Pirate Magic! With Cody Fisher

Experience an interactive pirates-and-treasure-themed performance by magician Cody Fisher.

July 28, Pirates Ahoy! With Brian Whittington

Audience members are invited to join in a show as characters in a pirate adventure story, complete with costumes and props.

“The Mayborn Museum is exceptional,” said Ellen Garth, Odyssey’s archeological curator. “This is largely because of the support of the staff. It’s nice to have a group of people so excited and enthusiastic about the artifacts.”

Admission, which includes entrance to all permanent collections and the SHIPWRECK! exhibit, is $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens and $5 for children. Admission is free to all museum members and college or university students with a valid student ID.

The exhibition will take place in the Thomas E. and Emilyne Weed Anding Traveling Exhibition Gallery located inside the Mayborn Museum Complex at 1300 S. University Parks Drive.

For more information about the exhibit, call 254-710-1110, or click here.

by Ashton Brown, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


Located on the Baylor University campus, the Mayborn Museum Complex features a natural science and cultural history museum focusing on Central Texas with walk-in dioramas, including one on the Waco Mammoth Site, and exploration stations for geology, paleontology, archaeology, and natural history. In addition, 17 themed discovery rooms encourage hands-on learning for all ages.

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