Be ready to be immersed in an underwater adventure. Seeing jellyfish up close is now possible at the Sea Life London Aquarium. The new exhibit opened April 1st. You will see over 5,000 jellyfish from several varieties.
Amazing jellyfish on display. Photos by Tom Graham.
Many people fear jellyfish because of their notorious sting, but they also are amazing to watch as they swim through the water.
“A jellyfish sting can’t kill you in itself. But in some cases they can be so cripplingly painful that the shock can paralyze you and make you drown if you’re out at sea,” said curator James Robson. So yes you need to be aware of them but at the aquarium you can see them without the sting.
The exhibit is at the end of your stay at the aquarium. Before you get there you will see sharks, pet a starfish, and walk through a tunnel with stingrays swimming around you.
Tunnel with great views of stingrays.
When you reach the exhibit you will glide through a jellyfish hologram to start your journey of learning about jellyfish.
First off jellyfish may have the word “fish” in its name but it is not a fish. There are approximately 2,000 species of jellyfish and new ones are still being discovered. In 2009, a Japanese scientist accidentally found a new species that is now called the Japanese Sea Nettle.
There are many tanks full of jellyfish for you to view.
A group of jellyfish is called a ‘bloom,’ ‘swarm,’ or ‘smack.’ It is their tentacles that will give you that sting. As you wander through the exhibit there is information about the different varieties including their ‘sting potency.’ The more red circles with a yellow lightning bolt the stronger the sting.
Be sure to notice the upside-down jellyfish, also known as the sun-bather. It can swim but it prefers to stay upside down and sit on the sea bottom. They live in very shallow warmer coastal waters worldwide. You do not want to step on one.
Upside down jellyfish display.
Did you know there is one known variety that is considered immortal? They can convert to a young age and restart their life, now that is amazing.
Starting in May, the giant Lion’s Mane Jellyfish, which can get up to six feet wide and over 100 feet long, will be on display. It is the world’s largest variety of jellyfish.
These jellyfish are blue from the color lights.
You will be mesmerized by all the neon lights and the swimming jellyfish. I could stand there and watch them all day as they gracefully glide up and down the many tanks on exhibit.
Other things to see and do –
There is an arcade at Namco Funscape and a McDonalds as you exit the aquarium.
There are many other family friendly attractions in the same area as the aquarium. You can even buy combination tickets that will save you money. Places like London Eye, The London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds London and Shrek’s Adventure.
If you have any energy left walk across the Westminster Bridge and take a selfie with Big Ben. The Westminster tube station is right there for easy access to other points in London.
A very fun day out in London with so much to see in such a small area, from underwater at the aquarium to a bird’s eye view on the London Eye.