updated 9/1/2010 7:17:25 AM ET 2010-09-01T11:17:25

TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 1, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX) today announced that following an extensive content upgrade, the Company's multi-media traveling exhibit SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure will open at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore on October 1, 2010. The exhibit will run through January 31, 2011, in the Legg Mason Gallery on the second floor of the science center. 

The 8,000-square-foot SHIPWRECK! exhibit takes visitors on the thrilling quest to discover the ocean's greatest shipwreck stories and treasures.  The exhibit features over 500 authentic artifacts recovered by Odyssey from various shipwrecks in the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel and the Mediterranean Sea. The highlight of the exhibit is the SS Republic, a sidewheel steamer built in Baltimore in 1853. The rich history and a wide variety of treasure recovered from the Republic are on display in the exhibit. Coins, bottles, decorative porcelain figurines, personal items like combs and tooth brushes and even a 300-year-old logarithmic calculator on a folding rule will also be on display. SHIPWRECK! includes interactive elements and full-scale replicas of the equipment that Odyssey has used to discover hundreds of shipwrecks around the world. Visitors can try their hand at picking up coins with a robotic arm, experience hurricane force winds and explore a wall-size virtual video version of the SS Republic shipwreck site in detail as part of the exhibit.

"We're very excited to bring SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure to the Maryland Science Center.  This is a great opportunity for families, class field trips and all exploration enthusiasts to learn about the SS Republic, one of Baltimore's greatest ships, as well as the cutting-edge technology used to explore the deep ocean," said Mark Gordon, Odyssey President and Chief Operating Officer. "SHIPWRECK! fuses history, science and technology into an exciting educational experience through the use of interactive elements and the presentation of real life treasures."

In SHIPWRECK! children and adults can journey back to the 1860s to experience life aboard the SS Republic and travel to her final resting place at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. They will marvel underneath the full-sized replica of the ship's paddlewheel, where visitors can examine some of the precious cargo Odyssey recovered from 1,700 feet below the ocean's surface. Stories and first-hand accounts from the passengers aboard for her final journey help paint the picture of the tragic last voyage of the Republic. Brave guests can even step inside a hurricane wind tunnel to experience the high-powered winds that brought down the Republic, as well as thousands of other famous ships throughout history. Visitors can take the virtual helm of the Republic, in front of a giant video screen as well as play a series of interactive games and challenges that test their deep-ocean recovery capabilities. 

The pioneering techniques and technology that have allowed Odyssey to discover some of the most famous wreck sites in the world including ancient Roman and Phoenicians wrecks, the Republic, the "Black Swan" site, GermanU-boats, French and Barbary pirate ships, and Balchin's HMS Victory are also presented. A full-size replica of ZEUS, Odyssey's eight-ton Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) that acts as the archaeologist's hands and eyes in the deep ocean will be on display. Guests can test their skills by piloting an ROV simulator through a virtual shipwreck and attempt to pick up artifacts with a working model of ZEUS' robotic arm. On display will be the SS Republic photomosaic which consists of more than 2,500 digital photographs, taken by ZEUS, that have been stitched together to create a large scale photographic map of the wreck site.

Finally, SHIPWRECK!'s "World of Pirates" interactive gallery and activities immerse visitors with the lore, legends, and facts of pirates of the Caribbean, Barbary Corsairs, Privateers and Buccaneers. Guests can learn how to identify pirate vessels on the horizon using spyglasses, raise the banners of notorious pirates, learn to tie essential knots for life on the high seas, and create their own pirate in an interactive game!

SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure will be on display at the Maryland Science Center, located at 601 Light Street in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, from October 1, 2010 through January 31, 2011. For ticket information, please visit www.mdsci.org or call 410-685-2370. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Maryland Science Center. Group discounts and reservations are available.

About the Maryland Science Center

The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore is visited by more than 500,000 people each year. Popular exhibits include: Dinosaur Mysteries with full-size dinosaurs and interactive paleontology activities; a day in the life of the human body in Your Body: The Inside Story; and dozens of interactive experiments in Newton's Alley.  Other attractions include the Kids Room, the five-story St. John Properties IMAX Theater, and the world-famous Davis Planetarium.

About Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX) is engaged in the exploration of deep-ocean shipwrecks and uses innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology to conduct extensive search and archaeological recovery operations around the world. Odyssey discovered the Civil War era shipwreck of the SS Republic® in 2003 and recovered over 50,000 coins and 14,000 artifacts from the site nearly 1,700 feet deep. In May 2007, Odyssey announced the historic deep-ocean treasure recovery of over 500,000 silver and gold coins, weighing 17 tons, from a Colonial era site code-named "Black Swan." In February 2009, Odyssey announced the discovery of Balchin's HMS Victory. Odyssey also has other shipwreck projects in various stages of development around the world.

Odyssey offers various ways to share in the excitement of deep-ocean exploration by making shipwreck treasures and artifacts available to collectors, the general public and students through its webstore, exhibits, books, television, merchandise, and educational programs.

Odyssey's operations are the subject of a Discovery Channel television series titled "Treasure Quest," produced by JWM Productions. The 12-episode first season aired worldwide in 2009.

For details on Odyssey's activities and its commitment to the preservation of maritime heritage please visit www.shipwreck.net.

Odyssey Marine Exploration believes the information set forth in this Press Release may include "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. Certain factors that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are set forth in "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7185

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