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August 27, 2012

Originally posted on NC Museum of Natural Sciences Exhibits Blog:

by Helen Chappell

While I was scoping out the answer to our first Ask an Exhibitionist question, I learned a nifty little fact about one of our exhibits that I want to share here.

Part of our huge Mountains to Sea exhibit is a black water swamp diorama.  The water is made using a sheet of plexiglass with a resin layer for texture, like I talked about in a previous post, but it also has ducks and plants like duckweed “floating” in it.

Duckweed, if you’re not familiar with it, is a tiny aquatic plant that grows on the surface of still or slow water.  Its texture is somewhere between pond slime and lily pads.  Another common name for duckweed is “water lentils,” which should give you a good general idea of duckweed’s size and shape.

Our fake duckweed looks even more like lentils than the real thing…

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