When you finally see

Jeff and the boys at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, December 27, 2002

Jeff and the boys at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, December 27, 2002

“There’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.” — Dave Barry

I’ve always found it interesting that some of the most marvelous sights in our universe were unknown to humans for many centuries. I’m not talking primarily about outer space. I’m talking about the undersea world, which is every bit as fascinating and terrifying to me. Because I have a healthy fear of spending much time underwater depending on SCUBA gear to breathe, probably the closest I’ll get to seeing the wonders of ocean life is visiting a good aquarium.

There are many wonderful museums that feature marine biology, but the best one we’ve visited is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, located on the stunning Pacific coast just north of Big Sur in California. I could easily spend an entire day just admiring the views of the water’s surface there, but as Dave Barry says, the real show is underneath. Large, clear and well-lit tanks will give you views of all the dolphins, sharks, jellyfish, rays, fish and turtles you could ask for, and if you get tired of deep sea life, you can always enjoy the delightful antics of the scene-stealing sea otters.

The undersea creatures are so unique in their many colors, forms, and patterns of movement that watching them never fails to underscore my belief that our planet is the work of an amazing Creator of unfathomable (no pun intended) power, love, enthusiasm and passion for life. I hope you can make some time to visit an aquarium near you, and enjoy getting to know a small part of the vast drama that unfolds daily, largely unobserved and unexplored, over 71% of the Earth’s surface.

This post was originally published on May 10, 2013. Since that date fell on Mother’s Day this year, I have swapped the two post dates to fit the theme. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.

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