Aquarium of the Pacific

Vacation ’98, Day Five

The Aquarium of the Pacific , located in Long Beach, has been touted as another Morrow Bay Aquarium. That tends to create some pretty high expectations; Morrow Bay is one of the world’s greatest aquariums.

aquarium-crab.jpgI tried to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific a while back–a week after opened–and when I drove up, the ticket line was six abreast and stretched for about a quarter of a mile. So I ditched that action and went to the Queen Mary instead. I love the Queen Mary. Unless you’ve got six thousand dollars and can get a berth on the QE2, there’s just no sailing like that anymore.

Initially the Aquarium was kind of a let down after Sea World. Sure, it had some fascinating stuff. The sea turtle exhibit was great. But I found that the aquarium really does live up to it’s name: it concentrates mainly on the sea life of the Pacific Ocean. After lunch I got to the good stuff, especially living coral. Coral never excited me until visiting the Aquarium. We learned about the complexities of creating a self-sustaining salt water aquarium from a very patient volunteer who was working there.

Apparently they started a year before opening because salt water aquariums require specific time and elements to generate a proper habitat. I snapped a picture of some giant crabs which were probably five feet in diameter. If you look carefully at the photos, you’ll note the size of the crab in relation to the water bottle sitting next to the glass.


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