From a quiet, simple entrance to a fascinating world on the inside.
One of the first things you run into is their pièce de résistance… this huge clam! Periodically weighed, this darling is about two or three feet across and probably weighs just over 160 lbs or so.
There’s also these cute little floating button-like jellyfish. With all the fish in the sea, we can’t forget the jellies.
Although the thought of jelly fish is usually accompanied by a painful, stinging memory (for me anyway), they are still beautiful to behold. I remember how beautiful that blue bubble was as it floated on top of the water next to me. “Wow, that’s neat,” I thought.
“Eeeekkk! My leg, my leg!” Oh the pain of it all! Lifeguards suggest meat tenderizer. I don’t remember what they used that day. I was only 7 or 8 years old, I think. I never forgot it. But, aren’t they beautiful? In the aquarium. Not next to you in the water.
Okay, I don’t remember all the types of jellies and it’s the box jellyfish, the ones that show up after the full moon, that will render you a blubbering crybaby, or maybe worse (I’ll talk about them in a later post). All of that aside, I will avoid them now just because they left me with that painful memory.
Those box jellyfish are to the unsuspecting swimmer, just as the vixen-variety of human female is to the male gender — alluring, intoxicating, seductive… ZAP! Suddenly painful, bewildering and cruel! But, aren’t they beautiful?
Sorry, that just seemed like the perfect analogy. Now every male surfer who reads this will start comparing his x-girlfriend(s) to jellyfish! Oh well.
The sea horse is always a fascination. I guess the need to keep them in the low lighting is why we see little of them, aside from what’s on the National Geographic Channel.
There are so many beautiful fish and varieties of plant life to see as you walk through the Aquarium. Visitors can certainly feed off of the excitement of the children who go to the aquarium with their families. Their excitement is fun to watch and very contagious.
I mention this because, much like I was, the kids were dumb-struck at first and then full of excitement at the sight of these beauties that followed just around the corner.
I was so excited when I saw them! These are black-tip reef sharks. Man?! Man? is the Hawaiian word for shark.
They’re oblivious to us — calm, serene and oblivious. They just swim by. They must be so used to it after all this time. But, when I got my camera home and downloaded these pictures, I literally gasped for breath. “OMG! Look at them! They’re… right there! So close!”
That close… so close they went out of focus. Unfortunately, these were taken with my old camera — I actually took these back in March of last year. I just never got around to sharing them.
You know, many of us wonder what on earth is wrong with those people who go into the water with these cartilaginous creatures! (They have not bones, only cartilage; that makes them sound even creepier doesn’t it?) Why would they want to go down in those cages? I get it! I want to go there too!
I want to have that experience! I told my husband that, for Christmas, I wanted to go on the shark adventure they offer on the North Shore of Oahu. He thinks I have forgotten about it. I haven’t. You guys will be the first to know about it, trust me! I promise to share that story right after it happens! I don’t think I’ll be able to contain myself anyway.
Then comes the thirst for knowledge and the desire to understand them better. Taking a closer look, Waikiki Aquarium has not failed us in this area. These are actual displays and there is a lot of texts that accompany them. The lighting is wonderful for the viewers… just not the greatest for my poor old Kodak at the time.
Understanding them from a zoological standpoint is necessary so we understand the need to protect them.
Overwhelmed by their quiet majesty, I loitered near them longer than I did anything else at the Aquarium. Their subtle power, and their environmental necessity, commands our respect and asserts the need for preservation.
They are one of the ?aum?kua (gods or deified ancestors) for many of the Hawaiian people. This is another reason we should care for their environment and protect them — for their historical value! That wouldn’t work would it? Well, maybe if we take only some of the breeds of shark, like the reef sharks, and protect them! Sigh.
No, he’s not dead… he’s just fat and lazy. He’s basking in th sun and relaxing. The scars on this guy may be ones he received from one of our species of shark. However, it’s more likely that these scars were the result of trying to break free from fishing lines, netting and the like. Much like Sea Life Park has done for some of their residents, I think this guy is a lucky resident saved and adopted by the Aquarium.
There is another clam out in the sunlight that shares its space with these beautiful coral. Those are natural colors — they are living and growing and nobody painted them or added food coloring. 🙂
Our ecosystem is so fragile and so many groups are engaged in the preservation of this underwater world. It’s an ongoing struggle but so very worth it! A trip to the Waikiki Aquarium is so very worth it as well!