Public aquariums let visitors gain a better understanding of the natural beauty and the ecological complexity of our oceans without having to don unflattering wetsuits. Today's Groupon lets you learn about the Pacific's underwater depths while retaining your modesty: for $10, you get admission for one to Seattle Aquarium (up to a $19.95 value).
The assorted emerald sea wonders found in Seattle Aquarium's exhibits offer awe-inspiring insight into Puget Sound’s local sea critters. Visitors can mingle with adorable members of their own taxonomic class such as sea otters or harbor seals in the Marine Mammals exhibit. The exhibit currently hosts an expectant mother otter due any time, offering the rare potential to witness newborn cuteness and pass along preschool recommendations. Interactive NASA kiosks utilize touch screens to detail the study of the ocean from space, while the 400,000-gallon underwater dome portrays the wildlife found right at Seattle’s back door. Giant clams, tangs, wrasses, and other creatures exhibit tropical beauty in the Pacific Coral Reef exhibit, and jellyfish surround on-lookers as they walk through a large, water-filled tube in Life of a Drifter.
Not only is the Seattle Aquarium the ninth largest of its kind in the United States—with more than 22 million visitors since its opening in 1977—it is also an integral center for marine conservation and education. The exhibits display stunning creatures of land and sea, and staff biologists study the aquatic tenants to conduct critical research on giant Pacific octopuses, sixgill sharks, sea otters, and other indigenous animals.
Though the Seattle Aquarium is an advanced center for research, it isn’t all serious business and otters wearing lab coats—it also hosts numerous interactive exhibits and displays to please young and old alike. The Marine Mammals exhibit puts visitors up close with sea otters, playful river otters, harbor seals, and fur seals. The Pacific Coral Reef exhibit displays visually stunning and vibrant tropical fish, and the 120,000-gallon Windows on Washington Waters exhibit provides a floor-to-ceiling view of hundreds of Puget Sound fish, including salmon, lingcod, rockfish, and wolf eels.
The Seattle Aquarium also stays actively involved with the community. The aquarium’s biologists partner with local divers to take an annual octopus census, and each year the center trains more than 150 volunteers to teach visitors about the ecosystems of local beaches.