Coral Reefs: Nature’s Underwater Cities Now Open at Aquarium of the Pacific

Living near the Pacific has given me a true appreciation for the mighty ocean and its many inhabitants. As such, I count myself lucky that I live so near Aquarium of the Pacific and and witness first hand its devotion to this natural wonder. During covid I really missed visiting and was so happy to return recently. I was especially happy to experience their latest exhibit Coral Reefs: Nature’s Underwater Cities.

Aquarium of the Pacific Coral Reefs

A few years ago I attended an aquarium screening of two PBS shows that highlighted the importance of coral reefs and their continued threat due to warming oceans, pollution and unsafe fishing. Coral reefs are incredibly diverse ecosystems and are home to 25% of marine species. Their importance can’t be understated and the aquarium is devoting attention to them via the new exhibition Coral Reefs: Nature’s Underwater Cities.

Aquarium of the Pacific Coral Reefs

By re-imagining the Tropical Pacific Gallery the focus is now primarily on coral reefs and their importance to our world. To highlight this importance there are several sea creatures to meet  including some that are brand new to the aquarium. You can meet green sea turtles, flashlight fish,  striped pajama squid, parrotfish and so many more. An extra special coral reef ambassador is Sula, the red-footed booby, who is only the 2nd bird of her kind to to live at a zoo or aquarium.

LA Explorer Sula
image courtesy of Aquarium of the Pacific

In addition, there’s a vast amount of coral on display, including those confiscated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I was partial to the bioluminescent coral that emit fluorescent light. They’re so colorful with their neon glow that they almost don’t seem real.

Coral Reefs Aquarium of the Pacific

After viewing the exhibit I recommend heading to Pacific Visions where there’s a new film showing called Our Future is in Cities: On Land and In the Ocean. It’s an immersive experience that takes you below the surface into the world of coral reefs and offers a whole new perspective on these underwater communities.

Coral Reefs Aquarium of the Pacific

With the addition of Coral Reefs: Nature’s Underwater Cities the Aquarium of the Pacific continues to be a true ambassador of our world’s oceans and the many creatures that inhabit them. I can’t wait to return and meet even more amazing animals of the sea.

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