The Aquarium of the Pacific

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Sini Merikallio

The Aquarium of the Pacific is a fun place to visit.

Oceans are extremely large and vast, and this makes it very hard to see all the unique sea animals up close. However, aquariums make them much more accessible to almost anyone. One such collection of exhibits is the Aquarium of the Pacific, located in Long Beach, CA. There’s plenty for one to see with fourteen main attractions to look at.

First off is the Coral Reef Section, which has nine sections to look at. There is the Coral Lagoon, which peeks into the places where fish can begin their lives in safety. The Living Coral exhibit has a built-in magnifying glass that allows people to take a closer look at the bright coral. The Clownfish and Anemones exhibit shows off the colorful sea anemones and the clownfish that live in symbiotic harmony. The Coral Predators tank is the home of many parrotfish that use their beaks to bite through the coral. The Hidden Potential exhibit displays what benefits could be the result of coral and how they might be soon lost.

A larger exhibit is the shark lagoon. This ten thousand square-foot educational outdoor area holds the Aquarium’s lorikeet forest aviary, where visitors can feed the bright green birds. There is a big touch pool where many rays swim around, as well as a larger tank with the larger sharks. Nearby, there is a play structure where kids can play around with the water jets. The lagoon also has a secondary gift shop and stairs leading to the second floor.

The Northern Pacific Gallery is a window into the lives of creatures like octopuses and sea otters through sixteen exhibits. There is a winding pathway that goes past the mysterious Giant Pacific octopus and the adorable sea otters. There are also several species of sea jellies found here. Inside is also a large enclosure containing several puffins and auklets.

The Tropical Pacific gallery has sixteen exhibits that showcase the creatures in the tropical regions of the Pacific. The biggest exhibit in the whole aquarium is the tropical reef habitat, which has three windows for visitors to look inside. It contains three hundred thousand gallons of water and over a thousand species of fish and coral, including sea turtles, zebra sharks, and porcupine pufferfish.

The Southern California/Baja gallery is also a look into a section of the Pacific. It has eighteen exhibits, and just outside the main entrance is a large tank called the Honda Blue Cavern. It is a three-story-tall tank holding one hundred forty-two thousand gallons of water and many ocean inhabitants found near Catalina Island. The Gulf of California exhibit features some of the variety of one of the most biologically productive and diverse seas in the world. It includes some unique species of Butterflyfish and a species of fish known as Mexican Lookdowns. There are also the secondary ray touch pool, the shorebird sanctuary, the wetlands exhibits, and several others inside the southern California gallery.

Overall there are many things to look at, touch, feel, and explore at this aquarium.. It is a fantastic place to go for anyone fascinated, interested, studying, or in love with sea life.