The Monterey Bay Aquarium – A celebration of life underwater

I must have been a mermaid or probably a fish in my last birth. I am drawn to water bodies, the sea in particular, like a metal to magnet. I strongly believe that life underwater is the closest we can get to another world. And a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium confirms my belief! What a visual treat it was. The entire underwater ecosystem under one roof. It is a riot of colors, sort of a reality show of beautiful sea creatures, minus the heavy makeup and the drama!

Founded in 1984,the aquarium is located right on Monterey Bay. The main building used to be a canning facility for sardines. Fresh ocean water from the Bay is continuously pumped through pipes for all the creatures on display. It houses more than 35,000 animals and plants, representing nearly 550 species. How’s that for diversity?

This playful little guy welcomed us as we entered.

A sea otter under water

Otter playing with its toy

I was awestruck by the kelp forest housed in a clear walled tank which is three stories tall! And its inhabitants are just as amazing, although a little menacing!

Leopard Shark
Grumpy fish?

The jellyfish section is, in my opinion, incredibly romantic! They look like little lamps floating in the inky darkness of the sea.

And here’s the riot of colors I was talking about! The corals and their beautiful inhabitants.

Hi Dory!
Look at this guy pretending to be an anteater

Pretty lips

Eels..Eeks!

Here’s another one of Mother Nature’s marvels. The leafy/weedy sea dragon.

Some camouflage there!
There’s also a penguin enclosure and a mammoth octopus who was feeling a little camera shy the day we went.

We then headed on to the deck to catch a view of sea lions basking in the Californian sun. It looks really comfortable on that little rock. Either that or it’s just too much work to get off that perch 🙂

There are some wonderful dining options inside the aquarium where you can enjoy your lunch with great views of the Bay. There’s also a special zone where you can touch manta rays and starfish and feel their squishy,slimy skin.

If you’re in/around the Monterey area, the aquarium is a must-see. This is one place I know I’ll never get tired of. The best part is looking at the faces of kids who sit on the floor and stare at these creatures with their eyes filled with wonder. Really well done, Mother Nature!

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