Avast! A photo preview of Real Pirates at the DMNS

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

When you walk into the Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which opens today, the first thing you do is watch a short movie, one of those PBS-style hist-umentaries with the vaguely English-sounding narrator, the scrolling/zooming over photos and paintings and the occasional reenactment. You know the kind. After the movie's over, they let you into the actual exhibit -- and it's sort of like that movie fell out of the screen like in Voyage of the Dawn Treader and now you are actually inhabiting it.

The main attractions, of course, are the artifacts from the recovery of the Whydah, a slave-ship-turned-pirate-ship that sunk off the coast of Cape Cod some three hundred years ago, but there are about a million other things going on. Every few steps, there's an activity to do, a wax-sculpture scene, an actor hired to be a pirate and engage you in the kind of awkward conversation you're not sure how you're supposed to engage, kind of like when the clowns talk to you at the circus. There's a full-scale recreation of about half the ship that you walk through. There are tons of videos to watch. The sound effects never stop -- even the paintings have sound effects.

At the preview I went to last night, there weren't any children (it was very grown-up), but I can't imagine how overstimulated they're going to be when they show up this weekend. In the meantime, here are a handful of photos to give you an idea of what's on display, though they really can't do justice to the level of immersion happening here.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.