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The Planet Sea in the Anthropocene

In our future exhibition "Planet Sea", discover the global influences and conditions of shipping, sea use and marine research on the natural marine environment.

The shipping historian Sarah Palmer is only one of many scientists* who repeatedly point out: "In view of the distribution of land and water, our planet should not really be called "Earth". This statement often serves as an introduction or closing word in a wide variety of statements on the subject of the sea. In fact, the seas and oceans form a highly complex, interrelated system in which changes have a global impact. The conditions of life on earth depend fundamentally on the state of the oceans. Shipping and all other forms of sea use take place and have taken place in a diversely structured space. They are also components of the human influence on processes in the oceans. In "Planet Sea" we link these natural processes with a historical perspective. We thus offer a starting point for all aspects that can be thought of under the motto of the entire research and exhibition programme "Man & Sea".

Planet Planet Sea - Global Events

The core of the exhibition area "Planet Sea" is a large representation of the world, which is intended to familiarise visitors first with the global natural space of the sea. In addition, it is intended to provide orientation throughout the museum in a modified but recognisable form. In this way, the various manifestations of shipping and other human maritime activities can be spatially classified. The main focus is on the relationship between oceans and continents on the earth's surface, the distribution of deep and shallow sea regions and the course of submarine mountain ridges.

The relationship between the ocean and the atmosphere and the importance of the oceans in climate change will also be highlighted. This includes the course of the winds, ocean currents and the thermohaline circulation, the so-called global conveyor belt through which the oceans are connected in a worldwide circulatory system. Finally, the global human activity and its traces are made visible and explained, for example by the example of the main shipping routes.

The individual in global change

As a resource-intensive process, shipping plays a part in changing the state of the oceans. Since the way of life of a modern society like ours is largely based on global maritime transport, we as consumers or tourists permanently contribute to this change, but we can also consciously reduce our contribution. In our future exhibition, we would therefore like to sensitize visitors* to the principle of sustainability and convey the role of the interaction between oceans and shipping in the context of global change and what each individual has to do with it.

In this way we also want to contribute to the awareness that we are in the middle of a controversial process of understanding: It revolves around the question whether the planet sea has entered a new geological age, the Anthropocene. As a contribution to this understanding, we want to make more intensive use of our possibilities as a maritime museum in the future.

Further literature

Palmer, Sarah
The Maritime World in Historical Perspective
in: International Journal of Maritime History 23, 1 (2011), S. 1–1



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Opening hours

Cog hall: daily from 10 am to 6 pm

Ships: daily 10 am to 5:45 pm

how to reach us

Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum
Hans-Scharoun-Platz 1
D-27568 Bremerhaven


T. +49 471 482 07 0

Contact person

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