The Waikiki Aquarium
The Waikiki Aquarium
Living here in Hawaii all of my life, I decided to go and revisit some of the places I went to when I was a kid. One of these places is in Waikiki and has been around for ages. It is the Waikiki Aquarium, being the second oldest public aquarium in the United States which had opened on March 19, 1904 filled with 35 tanks which housed 400 marine organisms.
As of the year 2014, the aquarium has endured over 11 decades, marking it's 110th Anniversary with more additions to come. I often thought about going again one day and I had finally made that decision to go.
It is located just a brief walk away from the main beach area heading towards beautiful Diamond Head and across from "The Honolulu Zoo". Where Kalakaua and Kapahulu Ave. connects, it is just a few minutes away and you will find the aquarium to your right.
A small building indeed with a welcoming feel to the place. Located on the right side and built right next to where there are living coral reef along the shoreline of Waikiki. The aquarium is home to more than 3,500 organisms of 490 species of marine plants and animals.
This attraction generally is a short one and would take about a good 30 minutes or so if one takes their time.
Celebrating 110 Years in HawaiiClick thumbnail to view full-size
My Aquarium Visit
Before starting my walk, I was offered a phone like gadgetry to be used (optional) to make the my tour more interesting and educational. By following the numbers on the wall and pressing the same number button, you get to hear the recording that matches with the feature presentation as you go along. If you missed something, you can always play it again until you are satisfied with the information given while following each exhibit.
First the tour starts with us getting to know all about the coral polyps. Simply put, there are simple presentations showing us all about their structural development and sizes.
Can you tell how old a coral polyp might be just by looking at one? Here we get a chance to find out.
We also learn of many ways of how people benefit from these corals and reefs.
But corals also need to be protected by the potential harmful effects of pollution in many ways caused by humans and so forth.There are even viruses that can kill or do much damage to the coral polyps that make up our beautiful reefs.
The Corals of the OceanClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Life of the Ocean
Here in this aquarium, we will get to take a look into another world so to speak different than ours and we can read about and learn not just about the fishes off of our shores in Hawaii, but also around other places as well.
Here you will find the "Land Meets Sea" display, taking you to the Western Pacific where mangrove forests and sea grass beds are found next to the sea. Mangrove trees form tangled coastal forests under the sea among where the various fishes live and feed there.
"The Reef Relationships" display includes various different types of fishes and coral polyps making it a colorful sight to see.
Here you will find the (Clown Anemone Fish) and the (Pacific Regal Blue Tang) made famous by the movie "Finding Nemo" which was released by Walt Disney Pictures and the fifth film produced by Pixar Animation Studios.
Hawaii's Window to the SeaClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Hawaii State Fish
Did you know that Hawaii has it's own state fish? Yes they do.
It all became about in the year 1985 when the designated fish, the reef triggerfish (rectangular triggerfish or Hawaiian triggerfish) was first put up on a trial basis for up to 5 years.
The Hawaiian name for it became known as the "Humuhumunukunukuapua'a".
After the 5 years had passed, it was then realized that they still had not decided to change or to keep their decision made in selecting the state fish for the state of Hawaii. In 1990 it became official and so it became to be.
The Hawaiian State Fish also known in Hawaii as...The Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (Rhinecanthus Rectangulus)
The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle
The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) or Hawaiian name (Honu) is an endangered species in Hawaii. It is illegal to collect, harm or to kill them. They can sometimes be found on some Hawaiian beaches. But if you see one, you must keep at a distance and respect their space.
Did you Know.......
that a green sea turtle's feeding dive usually takes about five minutes or less but they can actually stay under water for as long as five hours? The temperature of the water, when colder results in their ability to hold their breath longer.
Their heart rate slows when conserving oxygen and it has been said that nine minutes may pass between heartbeats.
The Green Sea TurtleClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Ocean Drifters DisplayClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Hunters on the ReefClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Perfect Dashboard Shark Decoration for any Shark Lovers !
Colorful Fishes of the SeaClick thumbnail to view full-size
Learn all about Hawaii's Fishes
Shark "JAWS " Display
A Mega Shark Teeth Science Kit
Always wanted a see what a real shark tooth looks like? Learn all about sharks here which includes 10 fun games, puzzles and challenges to solve
The Sea Horse and Hermit CrabClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Ocellated River Stingray and Suckermouth CatfishClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Hawaiian Monk Seal
The Hawaiian Monk Seal is also another endangered species here on the list in Hawaii. If you happen to spot one on the beach, watch from a distance for your safety and protection. Since any animal's reaction may vary, do give them their space and do not attempt to push them back into the ocean. Roped up areas if any are there for your protection and safety. If approached by a seal, avoid interaction and move away. Human interaction may alter their behavior and ability to fend for themselves in the wild.
If you notice a female seal attempting to shield her pup with her body or body movements, cautiously move away from that area. Other reasons to leave is when you also start to hear (vocalization) growling or if you notice any rapid movements of theirs as they're leaving from any kind of disturbance in the areas. Also be cautiously aware of any sudden awakening from their sleep on the beach.
It is not uncommon to occasionally experience seeing a sea turtle or a monk seal along some of our beautiful beaches in Hawaii or even in other places in the world.
But always remember that when it comes to sharing the surf and beaches with them, it is a privilege that comes with responsibility.
Hawaiian Monk Seal kick'in back on Waikiki Beach
The Edge of the Reef ~ Displays
This next exhibit includes a 7,500-gallon (28,400 liter) outdoor exhibit where you will find the kind of reef fishes one will usually see right along a typical Hawaiian coastline.
Have you ever gone snorkeling or diving in Hawaiian waters? Well if not, here you will have a close up surface view and side view of it all as if you're walking along a typical reef right off of our shores. Because it is all contained, you can't get any closer than this having this kind of experience within a fixed setting and it being far from dangerous. No waves to watch out for and all within in a peaceful setting.
Also here you will sometimes find interpretive volunteers providing up close and hands on experience with some of the animals found in our local tide pools.
Edge of the Reef PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Outside of the AquariumClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Aquarium Souvenirs Gift ShopClick thumbnail to view full-size
Shark Attack Porcelain Mug
Just when you thought it was safe to have a cup of coffee !