QUT’s new interactive 3D Reef

The Queensland University of Technology is living up to its name, recently re-opening the latest update to The Cube’s 3D Reef — a fully functional marine ecosystem and the largest digital learning space in the world!

Everything — right down to the fish, coral, shells and animation — is accurate as possible. Including the look, the scales and the way they reflect… it’s all emulated as close as they can get. And with that goes a tonne of research, both in and out of field… not to mention with only team of six!

Currently, there’s about 20 species in the 3D reef, and they all have their own specific behaviours. They can actually detect where all the other fish are, so if they see a fish that they like or are a part of the same species, they tend to flock or school together.

And being an interactive screen, the fish will swim to you and swarm around your fingers when pressed. You can also dig in the sand and find seashells, and then click into information bubbles to learn more.

There are interactive games too! You can free a turtle from a discarded fishing net in Turtle Tangle, and test your skills with Reef Ranger, a game in which you pilot an animated version of QUT’s own underwater robot RangerBot to help grow coral and eliminate coral-eating starfish.

It’s a fascinating place to visit and check out, not just for the small kids, but the big kids too! The Cube’s 3D Reef is open all day every day to the public, plus it’s free. So, if you can’t get to the Great Barrier Reef, head to The Cube in P Block at QUT Gardens Point, where you can experience the reef without getting your feet wet!

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