- Marybeth Bond-Sheppard
Travel Bug: Monterey aquarium’s new exhibit a fascinating look at sea life
Every time my husband and I travel to the Monterey Peninsula, we try to spend a couple hours at the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. We are always awed by the playful sea otters, the adorable penguins, the mysterious and magical jellyfish and the hypnotizing beauty of the deep kelp forest. Before we leave, we are drawn to the outdoor deck perched on the Monterey Bay, and we wonder what lives in the depths of the Monterey Canyon, which begins at Moss Landing, extends 95 miles under the Pacific Ocean and reaches depths of 11,800 feet below the surface.
We need wonder no longer, as the aquarium’s new “Into the Deep” exhibit offers a glimpse of the marine life that thrives from 600 feet to almost 2 miles below the surface, an area that is usually completely inaccessible to people. In the past, exploring the murky depths of the ocean plunged us into the realm of science fiction: monstrous octopuses, robot submarines, underwater volcanoes and sea monsters.
“Although we know that the health of our planet is closely tied to the health of the sea, we know more about outer space than this vital ecosystem,” said Beth Redmond-Jones, vice president of exhibitions at the aquarium. It is estimated that the seafloor represents 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, yet only about 15 percent has been mapped. By comparison, nearly 90 percent of Mars’ surface has been mapped.
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