Imagine being able to see some of the most spectacular creatures found in the world’s oceans, without having to get wet or leave dry land! Here at Blue Planet Aquarium’s Ocean exhibit, you can do just that. Home to an incredibly spacious tank and our very own underwater tunnel, a trip to Blue Planet isn’t complete without seeing this exhibit.
What is the Ocean exhibit?
Home to a 4 million litre tropical display, the Ocean exhibit is the perfect place to see some of the world’s sea creatures up close. Filled with colourful fish, fascinating rays and even sharks, the Ocean exhibit really does showcase some of the most incredible animals.
What’s more, you can Immerse yourself in the aquatic world to learn more about life in the Caribbean reef. You can walk through our underwater tunnel to see these sea creatures from all angles as they swim above and alongside you.
What’s it like at the exhibit?
The Ocean exhibit aims to replicate life amongst the Caribbean reef, with saltwater with a temperature of around 26 degrees. Creating a tropical climate for our species to thrive, this exhibit brings species from Central and South America to right in front of your eyes. The species you find here thrive in this kind of environment, mimicking their natural habitats in the world’s tropical seas.
Walking through the underwater tunnel gives you the chance to experience a 360 view of our sea creatures, so take your time and follow the tunnel to see how many species you can spot!
What will I find at the Ocean exhibit?
You’re in for a real treat at the Ocean exhibit because it’s home to one of Europe’s largest collection of sharks. This includes:
- Sand Tiger sharks (Carcharias taurus)
- Zebra sharks (Stegostoma tigrinum)
- Brownbanded Bamboo sharks (Chiloscyllium punctatum)
- Blackchin Guitarfish (Glaucotegus cemiculus)
- Black Tip Reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus)
You’ll also find rays and a whole host of different fish species – in fact, there’s around 100 different species living in our Ocean exhibit. See how many of the following fish you spot on your next visit to the Ocean exhibit:
- Southern Stingray
The Southern stingray (Dasyatis americanus) is usually found in the tropical waters of the Western Atlantic Ocean. Look out for its flat, diamond-shaped body and watch out for its venomous sting near the base of the tail! Southern stingrays tend to live along the sea floor, burrowing in the soft sediment with only its eyes uncovered, which is both to lurk waiting for prey and to protect itself from predators.
- Honeycomb Moray Eel
Also known as the laced moray and leopard moray eel, this species (Gymnothorax favagineus) is easily recognised by its black spots and white-yellow body. These spots are unique to the individual, varying in size and shape. The honeycomb moray eel is found throughout the Indo-West Pacific, preferring to live amongst caves, seagrass beds and coral reefs.
- Regal Tang
The Regal Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) is a beautiful and easily recognisable fish, thanks to its electric blue body and yellow tail. It’s the only member left of its family, and they usually live in pairs or small groups. You’ll typically find the Regal Tang throughout the Indo-Pacific, including regions like the Great Barrier Beef, Indonesia and East Africa.
- Black Saddleback Grouper
The black saddleback grouper (Plectropomus laevis) goes by a number of fascinating other names, including footballer cod. This is because the species has two colour phases; the first of which is black saddles on a white background with yellow fins. The second phase is a grey body, dark head and small blue spots. The black saddleback grouper tends to live in lagoon areas that have good coral cover.
- Vampire Triggerfish
Also known as a red-toothed triggerfish (Odonus niger), this species is truly fascinating thanks to its vampire-like, red fangs. Its body is usually a deep purple with glowing blue edges to their tail and fins. The vampire triggerfish usually lives amongst reef habitats, and thrives in the tropical Indo-Pacific area.
- Goliath Grouper
The largest in the family of groupers, the Atlantic goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) is typically found in shallower tropical waters along the coast of the United States, Bahamas and most of the Caribbean. This species is generally a brown-yellow colour, with irregular vertical bars along its body. They can grow up to 2.5 metres!
The porkfish (Anisotremus virginicus) is a fascinating species, belonging to a wider family of sweetlips and grunt fish. It is well recognise thanks to its yellow and silvery body, with distinctive black bars. They are quite a small species, growing to around 25cm in length, and they often grind their teeth to make a noise like other grunts.
- Queen Triggerfish
The queen triggerfish (Balistes vetula) is an incredibly colourful fish, with the body being an array of green, orange-yellow and of course the bright blue bands near the snout and fins. They use their spines on the anterior dorsal fin to lock them into crevices at night, protecting themselves from predators. Queen triggerfish are found in the eastern and western Atlantic Ocean, spanning regions like the Azores and Gulf of Mexico.
Who would enjoy the Ocean exhibit?
With the Ocean exhibit being home to some of the most majestic sea creatures, it’s a real treat for anyone who loves the ocean and fish. The exhibit gives you the chance to see some of these fish up close, so whether you’re older or younger, it’s an incredible opportunity to walk along sharks and other fish and see them in even more detail.
Together, the underwater tunnel and Aqua Theatre give you an awe-inspiring insight into ocean life that simply can’t be missed on your next visit to Blue Planet Aquarium.
We have strived to make the Ocean exhibit as accessible as possible. Our underwater tunnel and Aqua Theatre are both wheelchair-friendly, but please feel free to get in touch ahead of your visit if you have any questions or concerns.
Want to learn a little more about the sea creatures you might see here?
Current Water Temp26 / 78
Climate / Biome
In This Exhibit
100 species | 1,500 animals
Where are we?
Central and South America
In This Exhibit
Sand Tiger Sharks
The stars of the show are our impressively large Sand Tiger Sharks. They have thousands of teeth in a lifetime!
Undulating their ‘wings’ enables these flat animals to move gracefully through the water.
These majestic sharks can often be seen resting on the Reef bed. They are easily identified by their little handlebar moustaches!
Their incredible patterns and ridges across their back makes these sharks easy to spot!