Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Inspiration - The London Aquarium.

Sea anemones. Just love the colours on these!
My youngest turned four on Saturday, so the whole family took a trip to the London Aquarium as his treat (although I can't deny we were all excited about it). Frankly I dislike London - it's too loud, too crowded and too expensive. But the children enjoyed the train journey up (apart from a long wait for the right Circle line train) and we arrived just before the aquarium opened to hear Big Ben strike ten o'clock (which impressed them). We've been to a couple of Sealife centres before and I didn't expect a huge amount different at the aquarium, but somehow we spent just over two hours inside.

The Houses of Parliment.
The London Eye

Most of my friends know I'm a fan of the weird and the wonderful, and this was too good an opportunity to miss for finding some odd inspiration among the tanks of rays, crabs and guppies (of all things! I can see those in my local pet shop any time). The first surprise when we went in was a glass floor looking down into a huge tank below. Sadly there isn't space to stop and enjoy the view as it's a narrow corridor and the only way in, which was a bit of a disappointment.

I wish I'd recorded some video of these - their waving arms seemed rather sinister. However I DID record the pretty anemones doing their dance, and some baby fish wriggling inside their egg sacs - did I mention I'm a bit weird? :)


The biggest hit for my children was the shark tank and the big, open pool full of rays, flat fish and a mixture of other fish.

Ray tank.

Easter Island shark tank
We got to touch a starfish - for those interested, it feels rather soft and squidgy but the skin itself is kind of scaly/spiny. The underside with all the feet - well, I couldn't feel anything of the feet but the edges of the arms feel quite rough. Youngest got to hold a crab - which was very well behaved and didn't nip - but after weekends spent crabbing at Mersea he wasn't that impressed!

replica(?)whale bones
I do not have a thing for skeletons. Seriously! Although I'm finding it hard to deny considering the number I'm posting in various places. However, having a scifi story out called The Bones of the Sea, it seemed only fitting that I post this, from the largest tank at the aquarium.

Cleaner shrimps
Bat stars. Seriously creepy-looking!
I could post pictures from the trip all day long, but that might turn this into a rather long post. So I'll leave you with one final video from the aquarium of Upside Down Jellyfish - yes, they really are called that and it isn't just a description. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I'm just catching up - hadn't seen this post yet. I just LOVE the London Aquarium. We've been there twice now. And aren't the upside-down jellyfish just awesome? :-) I love the little critters. We also really enjoyed the ray pool - that's really cool. Glad you had a good time there.


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