Bug Lab: Little Bugs, Super Powers


What child doesn’t love a few creepie-crawlies?

Well get ready for some bug fun with Melbourne Museum’s Australian premiere of Bug Lab: Little Bugs, Super Powers – an immersive exhibition experience as told by a collection of insects from 23 June – 15 October 2017.

A creative collaboration between Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, New Zealand, and Weta Workshop (best known as the creative wizards behind the vision, costumes and practical effects as featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit), Bug Lab will allow visitors to marvel at ultra-detailed large-scale models of bugs, discover cutting-edge science and explore the world as bugs do, through immersive sensory experiences.

Featuring six large scale bugs – Orchid Mantis, Bombardier Beetle, Jewel Wasp, Dragonfly, Japanese Honeybees and Katipō (New Zealand’s most dangerous native spider) – Bug Lab uncovers the adaptive genius of bugs, which over millions of years have evolved to have superpower abilities, including camouflage, mind control, super speed, swarm intelligence and deadly venom.

Bug Lab also highlights how bugs are the leading inspiration for cutting-edge technologies such as fly-like collision-tolerant drones, nanotechnology based on butterfly wings and 3D printed objects created from silk.

Capturing a vivid glimpse into the genius of bugs, museum visitors will be guided through Bug Lab by four immersive chambers and six extraordinary bugs, including the Orchid Mantis, an insect which hunts prey disguised as a beautiful flower; the Bombardier Beetle with its incredible ability to defend by firing a near-boiling spray at aggressors; and the Jewel Wasp which can use its venom to paralyse and control its prey.

Bug Lab will also feature dozens of interactive experiences that offer museum visitors the chance to test their reflexes and practise bug brain surgery. Plus real specimens accompanied by a wealth of layered secrets.

Smaller visitors will be provided for with pre-school friendly activity tables and a beetle slide with coloured lights and sound effects.

Visitors to Bug Lab will be able to make the most of a full-day out experience at Melbourne Museum. In partnership with Bug Lab: Little Bugs, Super Powers, Melbourne Museum’s IMAX theatre is screening Bugs: Mighty Micro Monsters 3D. This 45 minute documentary takes viewers on an unbelievable tour of the world beneath our feet, from the Kenya savannah to the tropical rainforests of North East Australia and further reveals the superpowers of bugs. Tickets are $10 for all Bug Lab visitors.

Afterwards visitors can head to Melbourne Museum’s permanent exhibition Bugs Alive! to get up close and personal with the real thing – live insects, spiders, snails and other bugs and learn more about their habitats, life cycles, social lives and how much humans depend on them.

Keep an eye out for the ten large-scale bug puppets including a mantis, wasp, spider and honeybees who have escaped into the city. The Melbourne Museum is hoping to round them up by the time of the opening on 23 June! 

Bug Lab: Little Bugs, Super Powers exhibition tickets on sale now.

23 June – 15 October 2017
Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street Carlton
Tickets $13 – $28
museumsvictoria.com.au/bug-lab

  • May 8, 2017