San Diego - Birch Aquarium

August 2015

Public aquarium is basically the same thing as an oceanarium — difference is just in the size of water tanks, but there is no strict division between them. Anyway, both are places where you can see some sea creatures.

Sure, there is an oceanarium in Astana, city where I usually live, but I thought that seeing sea creatures more than 3000 kilometers from the ocean (Astana) and about 1 kilometer from the ocean (San Diego), should be a different thing. I was right.

Short summary: ocean is weird and crazy.

Just look at these jellies.

Jellies have a power to turn any picture of them into some abstract art.

Some seahorses.

These are seahorses as well.

I like the ocean, but if I saw something like this swimming by, I would think twice before coming back. This is morena.

Do you see another morena on this photo?

Spiked crab.

Hermit crab (with shell) and two fishes. You see fishes, don't you?


There are, of course, a lot of fish. Like these big ones.

Or this one, looking more like a worm, than a fish.

Some classic coral reefs residents.

Nemo is found.

A lonely sea turtle doesn't understand what it is doing here.

But the weirdest part of the whole aquarium is this tank, featuring inhabitants of mangrove forests.

Among its residents are: this weird striped fish.

This fish with rainbow colored fins.

So called shrimp fish, which swims vertically (!).

Sea urchin, which looks like staring right at you (actually it has no eyes).

To my surprise, sea urchin can move, and quite fast. In combination with its "eyes" it looks quite creepy. See the video below.

There were also a starfish (yes, moving as well) and some shripms in this tank. However, it was not easy to take a proper photo of them.

When I though that it cannot get any better, a hermit crab appeared from somewhere between the rocks and made me shoot another video.

I spent about 40 minutes near this water tank, and still wish they had an online webcam looking at it :)

Finally, here is a view of an ocean from Birch Aquarium. Go visit this place if you have a chance! Highly recommended.