Tuesday 6 August 2013

Vancouver Aquarium

Ever since the famous otters, I've been wanting to go to Vancouver Aquarium. This year I finally made it. But now the draw weren't as much the otters or even the belugas, but the Jelly Invasion exhibit. I've had a thing for jellyfish for a while. I am slightly grossed out by them when out in the open, ever since bunches of them washed up on the shore during holidays in Denmark when I was a kid, and you had to be careful not to accidentally step on them. I have respect for the poisonous ones and was apprehensive to go swimming in Oz last year. But just looking at their colours and intrinsic beauty, them moving gracefully through water, can keep me engrossed for hours.

And here come the jellyfish. It was really hard to take good photos of these moving spheres in the semi-darkness. I wished for once that I had brought my monopod. Also, it doesn't help when a bunch of kids is weaselling around the premises, pressing their little noses against the glass, when all I wanted was to get my own big one closer to the tanks. I'm still not entirely happy with what I came away with, but I'll show you what I got.

These are Lion's Manes. The ones in the exhibition were only about a metre long, but they can grow up to over 2 metres in diameter, with tentacles 40 metres long. It's not surprising that there have been cases of fishing boats capsizing when some of these guys got caught in the nets. Lion's Manes do sting, but usually not fatally. Still, now that I know that they live around Vancouver and how humongous they can get, I am also apprehensive about swimming there... Thanks, jellyfish. 

The Spotted Jellyfish display was just beautiful. Standing in the dark, I got completely transfixed watching them float through the water. I imagine this is similar to being in space and seeing planets and star dust drift by your rocket in slow motion.

What I really liked a lot about the visit to the aquarium were all the knowledgeable guides dotted around the premises, who were able to answer questions and tell you about the jellies and other sea creatures. That was so much better than just having a plaque to read. I thoroughly enjoyed the morning there.

What about you? Do you have an aquarium in your city? Have you been? Does sea life interest you at all? Do you have a favourite marine creature?

© Text & Photos - Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated).


  1. whaaaaaat?!?!? jelly invasion exhibit? so freakin jealous. i'm in love with jellyfish. we got duped into going to an "glowing sea creatures" exhibit in NYC at the museum of natural history and after buying pretty expensive tickets we realized it was all just models, no real glowing sea creatures. so sad! Anyways, your pictures are so great! Glad you shared :)


I love reading what you think and comments make me happy. I usually reply by email, so look here if you need to know how to sneak me your address!

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.