Our Favourite – The Jellies At the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Travelling along the west coast for 4 weeks, we knew we would find aquariums of various sizes along the way. We were told that the one we couldn’t miss was the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We were generally interested in all the exhibits but I most wanted to see the Jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium even though I squirmed at the thought of getting real close to a Jellyfish. While I know that many are not dangerous, much like bats, I have a very visceral reaction to the thought of Jellies.
The ticket for Jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium combined both a back stage pass to see how Jellies were bred and cared for as well as an on-floor tour with commentary. Behind the scenes I was pushed forward to stroke the upper side of a Jelly (after the young boy did it), while the tour director let the Jelly continue to sting his hand. Apparently it is not toxic enough to prohibit his doing this a few times a day. Better him than me. We got the details of how to recognize a Jelly from a hydra and we learned about the beginning polyp state that spits off the baby Jellies.
While I might be a bit squeamish about touching them or the thought of swimming within them, I was not at all hesitant about putting my face and camera to the glass to get some great shots of the variety of colours and shapes that Jellies come in.
Lots To See at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
While we spent most of our time with the Jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we did explore the rest of the aquarium – as a teaser for another visit. The exhibits covered a broad selection of ocean life, both local and more remote. It was easy and informative to wander through the exhibits. With the rest of the crowd, we stared fascinated to see the sharks gliding by, seemingly uninterested in the other fish. The Mola mola fish (aka Ocean Sunfish) in the tank was quite small (maybe 36” across) but we heard tales of them growing to be 5’ across. David went eye to eye with the Cuddle Fish and I was not sure who was watching who.
It was a great day trip for us from Carmel. We wandered around Cannery Row before and after, not quite sure we were up to seafood just then! This had got us excited for our coming trip to Moss Landing in search of whales!
What was your favourite exhibit at the Monterey Aquarium? Did you see the Jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium? Do you have another favourite aquarium? Send us your suggestions!