After the magic of Big Sur, we wanted to visit one of the most famous aquariums in the world. Monterey Aquarium is a place that strikes the balance between tourism and real conservation perfectly. As well as being an educational centre, they helped to create the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary – a huge marine reserve which stretches 276 miles down the Californian coast.
Being inside the aquarium is like being in another world. The entrance halls greets you with an enchanting two storey kelp forest, where fish swim between huge towers of seaweed. You’ll see what life is like on a coral reef, as well as a hypnotic and mesmerising jellyfish exhibit. The highlight of the aquarium is their deep sea display. Here you can watch monsters of the deep silently swim through one of the biggest tanks I’ve ever seen.
Perhaps I’m being naive here, but it seems like many species are here because of injury and need rehabilitation. The aquarium doesn’t display performing animals such as dolphins or seals, and education is the main focus of every exhibit. At the heart of the aquarium is a plea for everyone to protect the ocean. They need all of us to take responsibility for the oceans and the life within them. If you get the chance to visit here I couldn’t recommend it enough. It will change your perception of life beneath the waves. The ocean is mysterious, magical and magnificent.
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