Monday, September 3, 2012

The aquarium in pictures

How do you top off a weekend of animal watching and childhood reliving? Go to the aquarium.

The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach has always been a great place to visit in Southern California. I figured this fact out a dozen or so years ago when I was on a school trip to the place. It's expansive and memorable. There are places to pet stingrays and sharks (I only pet the stingrays, because I'm a wuss). It's a cool and clean event for kids and adults that takes place primarily indoors, which is a nice relief from the summer heat. Have I not convinced you yet? This is beginning to feel like an advertisement, but it is only because I truly love this aquarium.

Here it case you haven't caught on to the purpose of this picture post.

You may see jellyfish...I only discovered today that they don't have brains.

And adorable sea otters, who you'll want to stare at for hours on end.

And fishies. Fishies galore.

Plus a new penguin habitat which is a fun addition to the aquarium.

Be sure to pay attention to the labels outside the tanks, including those which teach you how to identify "divers," homo sapiens.

And then there's Marlin and Dory (a clownfish and a palette tang) from Finding Nemo.

Also, shark eggs that have been altered in such a way that you can see the babies growing inside them!

See if you can spot a semi-camouflaged seahorse.

Here's a not-camouflaged-at-all hammerhead shark.

Is there even an animal in this photo? Yes, a sea dragon. Is that not the coolest thing you've ever seen or heard of?
Animals are pretty amazing. And sea animals are no exception. Whereas I marveled at the sheer size and activity of the many inhabitants of the zoo yesterday, today was fascinating in a whole new way. There are so many different types of fish as well as sea mammals and amphibians at the aquarium. It becomes hard to keep track of what you've seen when you walk through rooms and rooms of them. But even going back and repeatedly staring into the same tanks, one thing becomes very clear. We live in a magnificent world. One where animals can blend seamlessly into their surroundings or stick out with orange, white and black coats in crystal clear water. Whatever the case, it's something to marvel at.

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