I was in Seattle over the summer on the front end of an Alaskan Cruise (so awesome) and spent a marvelous few hours at the Seattle Aquarium, which is right on the waterfront. The last time I was at the Seattle Aquarium, the Internet was not even a thing yet, so it was fun to see that they have made so many changes and improvements to the facility. With an emphasis on education, the Aquarium is dedicated to preserving local marine life and they have integrated many green practices into their daily operations, so it is not only a beautiful and fun place to visit, but an organization that you can feel good about supporting.
On the main floor of the Aquarium you will find many Tide Pools and Touch Pools, which are fun for kids because they can see the animals up close and even touch them. There are a few pools with large collections of anemones and brightly colored red and green Sea Stars, some with too many arms to even count.
My favorite feature of the main exhibit area is the archway-shaped Moon Jellies Illuminated tank of Sea Jellies (Jellyfish), in which the jellies appear to transition color as the recessed tank lighting runs the full colors of the spectrum. I would like to have this in my house.
The Aquarium is home to a giant Octopus who likes to hide in his tank so he is a bit hard to see. They can squish themselves up into fairly small spaces, apparently. Several times a day you can watch them feed the Octopus, and that is really cool. If you see a scheduled feeding time listed, be sure to get yourself close to the tank about 15 minutes before the show starts, otherwise you will miss all the action. Did you know that the life expectancy of the average Octopus is only one to four years? I did not know that.
I am attaching a photo I took of some intriguing creatures called Sea Pens, for their resemblance to the old fashioned, plumed writing instruments. Sea Pens can be found in the Ocean Oddities section of the Aquarium.
Like any aquarium that is worth its salt (water), The Seattle Aquarium has a separate, outdoors habitat area that houses aquatic mammals including River Otters, Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, Northern Fur Seals and various types of Aquatic Birds, which affords a very complete experience for all visitors. There are several cute little Sea Otters, and the staff can tell you all about them including their names and ages and how they came to have a home at the Aquarium. I was so charmed by one Otter, who was floating leisurely on his back while playing with a plastic bowl and an empty water jug. Adorable.
Another added bonus of visiting the Aquarium is that is it so close to The Great Wheel Ferris Wheel, also located on the pier, so you can head over there for a spin in the sky and lovely views of the Puget Sound after your visit with the fish.
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