Exploring Seattle: The Seattle Aquarium

I absolutely love aquariums. I’ve been wanting to check out the one in Seattle since I moved here 3 2/3 years ago, but I just never quite got around to it. After a while, you get kind of sick of doing stuff by yourself. I’m glad I waited, because exploring it with my boyfriend was so much fun.

Much of the Seattle Aquarium deals with the environment in and around Puget Sound. While visiting we got to observe the staff feeding a giant Pacific octopus, which was mesmerizing. But it reinforced to me that if the frigid waters didn’t deter me from swimming in the sound, then these creatures would. They can get up to 150 pounds, with an arm span of 20 feet. And they’re not at all endangered. (The aquarium actually conducts a census every year.) They’re also incredibly intelligent. I don’t know why that gives me the creeps, but it does. We got to watch this amazing creature change color and texture as it undulated around its enclosure. I wondered what it was thinking.

Octopus

The jellies did their fair share of undulating as well. I’ve always found them to be beautiful. I’d love to be that graceful.

Jellies

We also got to see a wide variety of fish and coral in various habitats, and even interacted with sea cucumbers, sea urchins, sea stars, and anemone in the touch pool. (Sea cucumbers are slimy!)

I could have sat for hours in the underwater dome, watching the shiny salmon, the bony sturgeon, the cod, halibut, rockfish and dogfish swimming around and above me. Watching fish swim has always had a calming effect on me. It also makes me crave seafood. (I’m a sick puppy.)

dome

There was also a delightful coastal bird exhibit, which included puffins, curlews, auklets, and oystercatchers. And that led into the marine mammal exhibits, which included otters, fur seals, and harbor seals. They were fun to watch as they took turns sleeping and frolicking.

Otter

If you can’t go to the Seattle Aquarium yourself, you can at least visit their website and check out the various live cameras and videos. They’re rather addicting.

And yeah, I admit it. Afterward I talked my boyfriend into treating me to fish and chips. Worst case scenario, I’ll go straight to hell. At best, he no longer knows what to think about me. A fair trade off for fried salmon, though, don’t you think?

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