Reviewed by Ian Mowll.

This is a Virtual Reality experience taking you from the formation of the Earth 4.5 billion years ago through to today. You start off by being given a head mask and various instructions. One of these being that other people in the Virtual Reality room will appear as faded human images so that you don’t bump into each other.

In the experience, after seeing planet Earth formed, where it was a sea of molten lava and being bombarded by comets, the story moves on to early life. Here, in the oceans, cyanobacteria start  to photosynthesise, trapping energy from the sun. The beauty of Virtual Reality is its adaptability; I was shrunk in size and saw the cyanobacteria in great detail.

We go forward to the Cambrian explosion where there was a proliferation of new life. Trilobites were common in the seas and I rode one such creature through the oceans.

I don’t want to spoil all of the surprises which is part of the magic of the experience, but suffice to say that there were primordial forests, dinosaurs and an early form of humans – a different branch than the one that led to homo sapiens.

This whole experience brought alive the Earth’s evolutionary journey – even though it necessarily had to skip huge chunks as it was only 45 minutes in length.

It is not uncommon to feel a small amount of nausea or dizziness during these sessions. But, for me, that was such a small price to pay for this amazing experience. I am hopeful that this project will be extended in the future to other stages of the evolution of life on Earth so that many more people can experience the story in all of its depth and wonder and see how our planet is so precious.

At the time of writing, this experience was at Stratford, East London but as it’s so good, I am hopeful that it will become available around the country. You can find details here: