A new exhibit focusing on jellyfish will open March 31, 2012, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California. The exhibit, “The Jellies Experience,” will showcase 16 jellyfish species from the world’s oceans, including comb jellyfish, flower-hat jellyfish, Japanese sea nettles (Chrysaora pacifica), Mediterranean jellies (Cotylorhiza tuberculata) and Fluorescing elegant jellies (Tima sp.). The jellyfish will be displayed in six exhibit galleries and will include the feature jellyfish mentioned above, as well as more obscure species, such as thimble jellyfish (with golden gonads), hairy jellyfish, crown jellyfish and Indonesian sea nettles. The exhibits will feature interactive elements that will enable visitors to learn more information about the jellyfish, such as where they reside in the wild, what they eat and how long they live. The psychedelic aspect of the exhibit is new to the aquarium, an approach that exhibit designer Koen Liem said fits with the subject matter.
“Delicate Danger” gallery shows visitors how certain jellyfish sting and eat their prey; the “Jelly Fantastic” gallery enables visitors to create computer-generated jellyfish that they can then put into a virtual aquarium to swim with other visitor-created jellies; “Ocean Dance” features virtual jellyfish that pulse with the music piped into the exhibit, propelling the jellyfish through the water; “Radiant Nature” gives users the sense they are part of a kaleidoscopic image, their bodies turning symmetrical to resemble the shape of the jellyfish in the exhibit; “Jellies Explosion” has moon jellyfish and mirrored walls to create a sense that the visitor is swimming through a throng of jellyfish; “Light Show” exposes the visitor to fluorescent, bioluminescent and iridescent jellyfish and corals.
The exhibit is included in the aquarium’s admission, which is $34.95, $29.95 for seniors 65 and older, and $19.95 for the disabled and children 4 years and up. For more information, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium website at www.montereybayaquarium.org.