Posted November 12, 2015
By SIYUAN TONG
For as long as I can remember, the world under water is always magical and special to me. Maybe because as a human being who normally lives on land, I do not get much chance to see things under water that much, so an aquarium is always somewhere I love and want to visit.
With my father’s friend, Jin Ming, and his seven-year-old daughter, Jin Yichun, coming from China to visit Miami and with me serving as their local guide, I got the chance to go to Miami Seaquarium with them for the first time.
Founded in 1955 by Fred D. Coppock and W.B. Gray, the Miami Seaquarium is one of the oldest operating aquariums in the United States. With 38 acres of land, it normally hosts more than 600,000 visitors per year. Other than housing marine mammals, the Miami Seaquarium also offers a chance to see various fishes, sharks, sea turtles, birds, reptiles and manatees.
When we entered into the Seaquarium with the cute map we got from ticket office, we first entered into Tropical Fish Aquarium. All kinds of colorful fishes that we cannot name are swimming around in their little world. This was always the part I enjoy, just standing there and seeing those beautiful little creatures being as they normally be, I became so relaxed while doing that.
“This is so beautiful,” Yichun shouted aloud.
When I turned to her, I can see her whole body sticking the glass, trying to get closer to those little things.
“I wish I could have one of them at home,” she exclaimed.
Walking further, the Reef Aquarium came into sight. Just like what we normally saw on television or on websites, the reefs are always amazing to see. Within the tank of 750 gallons water, reefs are presented for visitors to walk around and see.
Maybe it is just me, but seeing them under the blue waters and with small fish swimming around, is just such a magical picture. I guess other than snorkeling or diving, which I have never done, this is the closest I can get with those pretty reefs. Though they did not move, but being still is nice enough already.
Besides mere viewing, the Seaquarium also has divers go into the water to feed the fish, which makes it more interactive for visitors. Live narration was also provided in the area to give visitors further information about the reef.
The manatee area was our next destination. It was pretty funny to see three manatees “floating” on the water. Manatees have always been interesting to me. They are not that common in China, so I do not see them often, which makes me like them even more.
“They are so weird but adorable!” Jessica Lauren, a five-year-old girl from Miami, told her mom.
Yes, weird and adorable, that is how I feel about manatees. The shape of their bodies is really different from other sea animals. It is unique, but weird to me as well. However, frankly, for some reasons I do not even know, this unusual roundish shape makes me feel cute at the same time.
“Why are they not moving?” That’s Yichun’s first question when we saw three manatees floating aimlessly within a not too large round-shaped pool.
“Maybe because they are sleepy.” Yichun’s father Ming smiled.
“Is it because of the sun? It makes me sleepy as well.” She looked at me with her innocent eyes.
I almost laughed at the moment, but those manatees did seem relaxed in the water.
“I do not know, maybe they are just relaxing.” I answered.
As a child, Yichun’s interest for the question did not last for too long and soon she got excited to take photos of manatees. I saw her circled the pool and jumped around. If it not because of she cannot get into the pool, I guess her next action might be swimming with manatees. It was nice to see her like manatees just as I do.
Other than the exhibitions of various sea creatures, four major educational performance shows are presented as well to add more interest and make visitors have better experiences.
My favorite show among the four would be Flipper Dolphin Show. It was exciting to see Flipper right in front of me. Though not the same one from the 1960s show, but with the same name and the same performance plus the fact that all dolphins looks similar to me, I did not see much difference and enjoyed the show a lot.
As the Seaquarium’s big star with years of performing experience, Flipper could handle all the tasks easily. Tricks jumps, flips and tail wags to the audience. Every one of his movements made audience scream and applauded.
The dolphin’s movement, together with its body shape, always seems elegant to me. Flipper was apparently much more elegant than normal dolphins. I could see the proficiency in his leaps out of the water.
“I love dolphins.” Yichun concluded after the show. “Flipper looks amazing.”
By the time we finally walked out of Seaquarium, several hours had passed. All of us had big smiles on our faces and learned much about sea animals. If there was only one thing I wanted to change, that would be the weather.
The whole Seaquarium is open air, so when we tried to walk around and watch shows during the middle and early afternoon of the day, it got super hot. I wished I brought a hat or a bottle of ice water. Therefore, my recommendation for anyone going to the park would be to have fun, but check the weather, and go prepared.
If You Go
- Ticket: $43.99 for visitors over the age of 9 and $34.99 for children ages 3 through 9.
- Annual pass: $59.99 and $49.99 for children ages 3 through 9.
- Parking: $8.
- Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., 365 days a year.
- Address: 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, Fla., 33149.
- Phone number: 305-361-5705.
- Website: http://miamiseaquarium.com.