Not many have ventured out onto the vast oceans that cover most of earth. Fewer have braved the deep blue to meet wondrous creatures who call it home.
At the S.E.A. Aquarium, even a child can enjoy viewing these treasures of the world and learn how to appreciate them – all these in the comfort of a cool and sheltered environment, away from the harsh ocean conditions.
Here, we journey into the vast realm of the open ocean, home to some of the greatest and unusual species on earth.
Where: Ocean Journey (S.E.A. Side Snacks)
Must-see: The sea jelly habitat.
Marine animals: Yellow line scad, Emperor nautilus, Giant pacific octopus, Moon jelly, Sea nettle, Japanese giant spider crab.
Bonus: Check out the emperor nautilus, which has retained its looks since the dinosaur era!
As we step into the Ocean Journey zone, things get unexpectedly dark, mysterious and ‘chilly’. Education guide Nurul Aidah Fazil reveals that the average water temperature in the habitats in this area is 14°C, compared to the average 25°C in other habitats in the aquarium.
We begin at the schooling fish habitat, where it is common to see a group of fish swimming in the same direction in a coordinated manner. Fish tend to aggregate together to seek protection from their bigger counterparts. Staying together helps them spawn and hunt too.
Further along, we come into close proximity with the Japanese giant spider crab. Despite its gigantic proportions and sinister looks, the Japanese spider crab is a docile creature with gentle disposition. They are scavengers, feeding on scraps off the ocean floor and sometimes, kelp and algae, making them omnivorous. Nurul reveals that it can still survive even when they are left with three legs.
From one giant, we move on to another. Introducing the giant pacific octopus, who with its eight powerful arms, so strong that they are used to devour sharks.
The giant pacific octopus can grow up to four metres and lives to be about four human years old, with both males and females dying soon after breeding and delivery respectively. Despite its size, it can fit into a small hole as the only hard part of an octopus is its beak; if it can fit its beak into a hole, the rest of the body will fit as well.
Finally, one of the most fascinating habitats in the aquarium… the sea jellies zone is a perennial favourite amongst guests, adults and children alike. Did you know that sea jellies are boneless, brainless, heartless and are made almost entirely of water?
Sea jellies do not possess fish characteristics; they don’t have bones, scales or gills like a fish. So do remember to call them sea jellies, instead of jellyfish!
One unique species to look out for is the Japanese sea nettle, one of the most poisonous species in the aquarium. Don’t be fooled by its graceful movement; it packs a powerful sting, enough to cause serious skin irritation. It’s easy to spot them, just look out for its long, hair-like oral arms.
Next, we present part 2 of our open ocean journey. Stay tuned!
For other zones in S.E.A. Aquarium, check out The Seas of S.E.A. Aquarium.