Discover the Seattle Aquarium
Welcome to the Seattle Aquarium
The outside appearance may be rather plain, but enter the doors to the Seattle Aquarium and see the colorful underwater worlds to be found inside. After purchasing tickets, the entrance leads to a floor- to-ceiling tank filled with sea life found in the local waters of Puget Sound. Several times a day divers enter the tank to clean windows and feed the fish by hand. It is great to be welcomed with a wave from a friendly scuba diver.
Pier 59 - the Seattle Aquarium - The Seattle Aquarium on Pier 59
Participate in a Poll about the Seattle Aquarium
Have you ever been to the Seattle Aquarium?
Where is the Seattle Aquarium?
The Seattle Aquarium is located at Pier 59 on the Seattle Waterfront just west and below the Pike Place Market.
A Map Showing the Seattle Aquarium
To learn about tide pools in the Pacific Northwest and the different species that live in them, the Seattle Aquarium has a large area with several simulate conditions a Puget Sound tide pool. The best thing about this exhibit is that children and adults are encouraged to gently touch and feel starfish, snails, hermit crabs, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, sea anemone and other creatures that are found in tide pools.
The Hands-On Tide Pools at the Seattle Aquarium - Touch and Feel Life in a Tide Pool
Learning More About Pacific Northwest Tidepools
If a visit to the aquarium inspires you to learn more about life in tidepools, this inexpensive little book has 94 pages and is great to take along to the beach to help identify the creatures you may see on the beaches of the Pacific Northwest.
After leaving the tidepools, the next area that attracts a large crowd is the jellyfish exhibit. The nearly transparent moon jellies are mesmerizing as they float and undulate through a 12 foot tall crystal ring as the lights in the display change colors.
Moon Jelly Fish - Arelia aurita
The Pacific Giant Octopus
Another interesting species native to the waters of Puget Sound is the Pacific Giant Octopus. The scientfic name is Enteroctopus dofleini and it is the largest species of octopus in the world.
Enteroctopus dofleini - The Largest Octopus Species in the World
Dating Octopus Style
The Seattle Aquarium has a female and a male octopus that were introduced to each other on a blind date by the aquarium staff on Valentine's Day in 2012. Watch the video of their encounter below.
Octopus Blind Date on Valentine's Day at the Seattle Aquarium - Octopus Meet on February 14, 2012
Seattle Aquarium Underwater Dome
Watch Undersea Creatures Swimming All Around You
The underwater dome room is another one of the top features of the Seattle Aquarium. The room surrounds and offers almost a 360 degree view of many of the sea creatures native to Puget Sound. There are laminated photo displays of the species to help identify each as it swims by. Some of the common Pacific Northwest species that can be seen include sharks, salmon, sturgeon, starfish, octopus, halibut, skates, ling cod, rockfish and many more. Several times a day divers enter the dome to hand feed the fish.
Beautiful Creatures of the Tropical Coral Reefs
Although the main focus of the Seattle Aquarium is the local species of Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest, there is a large section devoted to life in tropical coral reefs around the world.
A Clown Fish at Tropical Reef Exhibit
The Coral Reef Exhibit at the Seattle Aquarium - A video of the coral reef area
Watch this video of the Seattle Aquarium's coral reef exhibit to see more of the sea life found in coral reefs around the world. Mute your computer if you prefer not to listen to the music.
Northern Sea Otters
My favorite exhibit at the aquarium is the Northern Sea Otters. Like the other marine mammals at the aquarium, they can be viewed at two different levels - from underwater and on the surface. The otters are very entertaining to watch as they swim, play, eat and almost continuously groom themselves to keep the fur that insulates them from the cold water in excellent condition. The Seattle Aquarium currently has 4 northern sea otters, Lootas, Adaa, Aniak and Sekiu. Aniak is the daughter of Lootas and was born at the aquarium in 2002. Baby Sekiu was born at the Seattle Aquarium January 14, 2012.
The Seattle Aquarium has a long history as a leader in sea otter research and was the first facility in the world to have a sea otter conceived and born in captivity and survive to adulthood. In addition to the captive breeding program that has helped the sea otter species recover from the threat of extinction, it also serves as place for injured wild sea otters to be nursed back to health. Two of the four sea otters currently at the aquarium were born in the wild, but were rescued and rehabilitated after being found in life-threatening situations. Lootas story was written about in the book, "Lootas, Little Wave Eater - An Orphaned Sea Otter's Story".
If you can't come to watch the otters in person, you can watch the Sea Otters live on the otter cams at the Seattle Aquarium....
Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris) at the Seatle Aquarium
Seattle Aquarium Sea Otters on Video - A Video of One Day Old Sekiu January 2012
This was written as a children's book for grades 3 to 5, but it is an interesting read for adults, too. It tells the true story of Lootas who was orphaned after her mother was killed by a boat in Alaska. Lootas was rescued at 4 weeks of age and the book includes information about the efforts it took to care for her. The book includes many photos of young Lootas as she grows into an adult sea otter. Lootas has lived at the aquarium since she was 6 weeks old and is now the mother and grandmother of several other sea otters. Royalties from sales of the book benefit the Seattle Aquarium's Sea Otter Program.
The Seattle Aquarium Salmon Rearing Program
The Seattle Aquarium educates about the importance of salmon to the ecology and culture of the Pacific Northwest. As part of this exhibit, the Seattle Aquarium hatches salmon eggs and releases young salmon every year. After several years at sea the mature salmon use the fish ladder that winds around the aquarium to return to spawn.
Young Salmon at the Seattle Aquarium
Teach Your Children More About the Seattle Aquarium
If you are planning on taking children to the Seattle Aquarium, this 32 page activity book is a great way to enhance the experience. Written by biologist, Nancy Field for children 9 years and older, it can be used to prepare for a trip to the Aquarium or as a souvenir after visiting.
Highlights of the Seattle Aquarium in less than 3 minutes - For a Quick Virtual Visit Watch these scenes from the Seatte Aquarium
Planning a Trip to Seattle?
Save on admission prices with a Seattle City Pass
If you are visiting Seattle and plan to include a trip to the Seattle Aquarium and some of the other popular attractions, consider purchasing a Seattle CityPASS. A Seattle City Pass will save you a considerable amount of money on the cost of the entrance fees to several of the most popular attractions, including the Seattle Aquarium.
The Seattle CityPASS contains tickets to 5 of the most popular attractions in Seattle and is valid for 9 days. The booklet includes admission to the following:
1) Space Needle - 2 visits - 1 day and 1 night
2) Seattle Aquarium
3) Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour
4) Chihuly Garden and Glass OR The Pacific Science Center
5) Experience Music Project -- Science Fiction Museum (EMP/SciFi Museum) OR Woodland Park Zoo
Wolf Eel - Anarrhichthys ocellatus
Vote on Your Favorite Exhibit at the Seattle Aquarium
Which area of the Seattle Aquarium do you think you would enjoy the most?
© 2012 Vicki Green