40 000+ Experience the world’s biggest archipelago within arm’s reach

The archipelago is home to people and animals by the sea. With its new exhibition 40 000+, Forum Marinum adds to the themes of seafaring and navy by introducing sea nature and archipelago, from the points of view of both inhabitants and the environment.

Environment and safety

Comprising of some 40,000 islands and islets, the unique Archipelago Sea is one of the richest areas in terms of species in the country. Diverse habitats both on land and in water contain a widely varied set of species, many of which are rare and endangered. Around one hundred of the islands in the Archipelago Sea are inhabited.

Forum Marinum’s archipelago exhibition offers plenty to see and experience for the whole family. You can watch videos of everyday tales of the archipelago inhabitants’ life as part of nature, when the sea and wind set the pace. An experiential element is a 10 metres wide curved wall on which images of archipelago views and life with different moods are projected. An audio voyage on board an old sailing ship allows you to imagine a sea voyage from Turku to Stockholm.

Information on the ecosystem of the Archipelago Sea and how anybody can affect and help the Baltic Sea through their everyday choices can be found on the walls and in video clips. The exhibition guests can examine small organisms through a microscope like scientists. 40 000+ is an interactive experience where you can test your own recycling skills and think about how to look after the well-being of the sea, and take adventures as an explorer in different workshops.

To get a perspective for recycling, the exhibition guests can examine the decomposition times of different waste displayed in glass jars. It takes a million years before glass has exited nature, while a cigarette butt decomposes in five years.

In the living laboratory and workshops the young explorers get to unleash their creativity and imagination.

The protection of the Baltic Sea is the key theme of the exhibition. Formed after the last ice age 15,000 years ago, the Baltic Sea is the second biggest brackish water basin in the world. It is one of the most sensitive and polluted seas in the world with around 90 million people living in its catchment area. The Baltic Sea produces oxygen and contributes to preventing climate change, so protecting it is important.

The young adventurers and sea explorers of the family will be delighted by the hands-on exercises involving insight as well as small surprises.

Text & photos: Heli Kaijansalo

The exhibition is part of the City of Turku’s Maritime Centre project which aims at strengthening Turku’s position as a maritime city. The co-operation between the City of Turku and Forum Marinum will introduce a more extensive, experiential Maritime Centre which brings the archipelago within arm’s reach. The exhibition was implemented within the City of Turku’s Archipelago Access project that received funding from the EU’s Central Baltic Interreg (2014-2020) programme.

The exhibition partners are Visit Turku, Visit Parainen, Visit Kemiönsaari, Visit Naantali, Metsähallitus, University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University, Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association, John Nurminen Foundation, Northern Growth Zone, Turun suomalaisen yhteiskoulun lukio school, and Ruissalo Nature School.