Saturday, 4 November 2017

Visit to the Aquarium

Today my hubby asked if I’d like to go out. I don’t get the opportunity to go out very often because I am either too tired, or too busy catching up with things I couldn’t do when I was too tired! By the time I was ready, it was nearly lunch time, and we ate out at a pub on the way, and then drove to Plymouth and visited the National Marine Aquarium. We haven’t been for quite a while, so it was lovely to go again.

Here is a selection of photos from today’s visit.

01 Mussels and Anemones

02 Jewel Anemones

03 Cuttlefish

04 Starfish

At the aquarium they have several domed glass tanks to enable better viewing. Here are some of them along a corridor which is also rather attractively decorated with timber cladding. I love the reflection of the illuminated domes on the floor.

08 The Domes

I thought these domes made beautiful pictures with the lens distortion effect around the edges, and editing out the background and replacing it with black.

05 Anemones through Dome

06 Anemones through Dome 2

07 Blue Crab

This is the huge tank which is the centrepiece of the Aquarium. It contains many native fish from Plymouth Sound, and it always amuses me to see the labels identifying cod, mackerel, pollock, etc. – fish that are more familiar on the fishmonger’s slab!

09 The Large Tank

Every day they have a display where the divers go into the tank to feed the fish and clean the inside of the glass.

I love the jellyfish display. Normally one sees them as unsightly blobs of gelatinous goo on the beach where they’ve been washed up, but to see these delicate creatures gently undulating through the water with the light shining through them, is a beautiful sight.

The tanks are placed between two corridors so you can see right through the circular viewing windows. I love the shapes they make.

10 Jellyfish Tank

13 Tiny Inverted Jellyfish

This picture of jellyfish looks like some otherworldly landscape with an alien moon in a starlit sky.

14 Tiny Blue-Green Jellyfish

These jellies were tiny.

15 Tiny Transparent Jellyfish

Here is a close-up.

16 Tiny Transparent Jellyfish Close-Up

A view through two jellyfish tanks, either side of a corridor..

17 Through the Jellyfish Tanks

Lots of art inspiration here, too!

Another dome containing seagrass. I love the painted surround on the wall, and the border of twisted rope.

11 Seagrass Dome

12 Cuttlefih with Seagrass

The shark tank. There is a replica of something like a wrecked plane for the fish to swim around.

18 The Shark Tank

The sharks were quite shy. There were also lots of fish, photographed here, that looked like metallic silver. It was very hard to photograph them because they were moving so fast.

I love the “Blue Planet” room with all the tropical fish and corals.

19 Tropical Fish 1

A close-up of the brightly coloured little fish above.

20 Tropical Fish 1 Close-Up

21 Tropical Fish 2

22 Tropical Fish 3

Not sure what these extraordinary creatures were but they looked like great big leaves.

23 Large Green Anemones

24 Large Green Anemone Close-Up

Lovely clown fish.

25 Angel Fish Amongst Anemones

One of my favourite tanks with the dramatic black-spiked sea urchins and black seahorses.

26 Black Seahorses and Spiked Sea Urchin

In the same tank were my favourite Cardinal fish.

27 Cardinal Fish

28 Tropical Fish 4

29 Tropical Fish 5

There’s a beautiful curved tank with sharks and rays in it. You can stand under the overhanging curved wall of the tank. The level was reduced because of maintenance work. There’s a waterfall on the far left.

30 Ray in Curved Tank

32 Fish in Curved Tank

My hubby looking at the curved tank.

31 N Looking at Curved Tank

There’s a fascinating projection on the floor with turtles.

33 Turtle Projection on Floor

34 Turtle Projection on Floor Close-Up

Here is the harbour in the early evening as we left the Aquarium.

35 Coming Out of the Aquarium

We had such a lovely afternoon wandering around and seeing everything again. I took these photos with my new camera. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the video to work properly on it – I need to get the book out to see what I was doing wrong – I’d love to have filmed the beautiful jellyfish with their gently pulsing undulations.

I find the life in the oceans endlessly fascinating. I think God let His imagination run wild when He created the sea creatures – endless variety and some of the most extraordinary creatures that you could never dream up! Aquariums like this help raise awareness, too, of the mess we are making of the oceans with our pollution, and they do great work in preserving the wonderful heritage of biodiversity we have in our oceans – the Aquarium in Plymouth is our national centre for marine biological research and they run a seahorse breeding programme and other significant projects. Our entrance fee helps to further this important work, as well as providing a thoroughly enjoyable day out. We are very fortunate to have it on our doorstep.

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