New Jellies Exhibit Now Open at Aquarium of the Pacific

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Indonesian Sea Nettle ~ Photo courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific

Indonesian Sea Nettle ~ Photo courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific

They have no heart, brain, or lungs and have existed on our planet since before the time of the dinosaurs. The Aquarium of the Pacific invites you to delve into the mysterious world of sea jellies through the new Jellies exhibits. Often referred to as “jellyfish,” sea jellies are actually invertebrates, or animals without backbones. Some species of sea jellies can indicate if ocean water is clean while others indicate if it is polluted. They’re made up of 95 percent water and are delicate, but some jellies wield a potent sting. Visitors to the Aquarium can explore the amazing life of these gelatinous animals and learn about their importance to our ocean planet through new exhibits, educational programs, films, and more. Ever wondered what a jelly feels like? You can even safely touch them at the Aquarium.

New jelly exhibits added to each of the Aquarium’s indoor galleries, displaying new jelly species in addition to those already on display. Sea jellies are found in ocean waters all over the world, as well as freshwater. In the Tropical Pacific gallery, learn about lagoon jellies and upside-down jellies, which live in warmer, shallow waters. They both host symbiotic algae in their tissues that enables them to survive on nutrition provided via photosynthesis.

In the Northern Pacific gallery, home to animals from colder waters, visitors can see the Aquarium’s permanent jelly collection as well as a new exhibit explaining the complex lifecycle of sea jellies. Shimmering comb jellies, umbrella jellies, and sea nettles as well as the lion’s mane jelly, whose tentacles can get as long as a blue whale, are among the jellies featured in this gallery. The Southern California/Baja gallery will feature sea jellies found in local waters, including purple-striped jellies and egg yolk jellies.

Visitors to the Wonders of the Deep gallery near the Aquarium’s entrance will have the opportunity to touch moon jellies. This gallery will also feature bioluminescent jellies as well as various specimens on loan from researchers in the field, such as tiny thimble jellies. Learn about the stinging cells all jellies have, only some of which can hurt humans; find out about jelly blooms and their relationship to human activity; and see how jellies are raised at the Aquarium. It all starts this summer.

The Aquarium of the Pacific, a nonprofit institution, celebrates our planet’s largest and most diverse body of water, the Pacific Ocean, and is dedicated to conserving nature and its resources by building relationships among people. Home to over 11,000 animals, the Aquarium features hands-on discovery labs, the Molina Animal Care Center, Lorikeet Forest aviary, interactive Shark Lagoon, Ocean Science Center, Wonders of the Deep gallery, and June Keyes Penguin Habitat.

Beyond its exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. It is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important topics facing our planet and our ocean are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in the search for sustainable solutions. The Aquarium is open daily, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (except Dec. 25 and during the Grand Prix April 17-19, 2015), and is located on Southern California’s coast at 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802. For more information, call 562-590-3100 or visit

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