LIFE IN ONE CUBIC FOOT
What is biodiversity? It’s the incredible variety of life on Earth.
In this remarkable new Smithsonian exhibition, Life in One Cubic Foot, scientists and citizens discover the biodiversity found in places around the globe, to make sense of the natural world and our place in it. Visitors learn what a cubic foot of land, or water, or air reveals about the amazing diversity of our planet. Biocubes, easy, flexible, one-cubic-foot frames that help document all the lifeforms in a small area, focus our attention and help bring biodiversity to light.
Visitors follow scientists and researchers into the mysterious ocean, and watch students exploring closer to home to see how this simple measure is enriching what we know of the world. The exhibition explores ideas around systems science— the interdisciplinary complexity of systems in nature—and reveals ways that anyone can become a citizen scientist and do their part to understand the diversity of life in their own communities.
HOW MUCH LIFE CAN YOU FIND IN JUST ONE CUBIC FOOT?
THE ANSWER WILL ASTOUND YOU!
It’s difficult to conserve our biological heritage without identifying more of the organisms on Earth and figuring out how they live and interact. One cubic foot at a time, biocubes help us discover so much about our natural world. Photographer David Liittschwager spent years traveling the world, dropping one-cubic-foot metal frames into varied ecosystems—parks, oceans, forests, backyards—and taking pictures of whatever came through.
WEIRD, WONDERFUL, AND UNKNOWN
Cold and dark, the midwater is the vast region of open ocean between the sunlit surface and the seafloor. The currents flow horizontally, dividing the water into an enormous stack of distinct layers. Scientists once thought few species lived in this mysterious realm. But technology is revealing a diversity of life beyond anything they imagined.
Look closely at the teeming life found in biocubes, stare into the dozens of eyes of a Paraphronima midwater creature, follow the steps to plan your own biocube survey, hunt for camouflaged animals, spin a cube to find animals, shells, and leaves, solve a biocube puzzle, speed up or slow down the action in a biocube video!