What to see in Florida Aquarium

By Harshitha Jagathiesh

The Florida Aquarium is a renowned destination celebrated for its remarkable marine exhibits. 

We’ve got you covered if you’re wondering what to see in Florida Aquarium.

Discover the ocean’s treasures from sea turtle coral reefs to giant Pacific octopuses. 

Florida Aquarium amazes its visitors with the diversity and beauty of marine life.

Here are some of the must-see parts of the Florida Aquarium.

Journey into the Oceans

Visitors need not wonder what to see in Florida Aquarium.

Visitors entering the Aquarium are immediately immersed in the marine world.

The Journey into the Ocean exhibit gives a glimpse of the marine wonders that lie ahead.

Here, visitors can explore a stunning variety of habitats.

This ranges from mangroves and coral reefs to seagrass beds and various marine life.

This exhibit showcases the delicate balance of these ecosystems and the importance of their conservation.

Bays and Beaches 

Bays and Beaches
Image: Facebook.com

The Bays and Beaches exhibit at the Florida Aquarium highlights the unique coastal life of Florida.

It offers a glimpse into the captivating world where land and sea meet.

Visitors can learn about various species through displays and presentations in this area.

The touch tanks provide an exciting opportunity to interact with some marine creatures.

Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center

Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center
Image: Facebook.com

The sea turtle rehabilitation center spans over 19,000 square feet in the aquarium.

This center was built to increase the number of rehabilitated sea turtles released into the sea.

It comprises four rehabilitation pools, a deep dive pool and a veterinary suite.

This center also facilitates research to enhance sea turtle care and breeding techniques.

Visitors can watch Sea Turtles under rehabilitation through the glass observatory windows at the pool.

The deep dive foraging pool helps the turtles gain the ability to hunt and dive.

Coral Conservation Complex

The Coral Conservation Center at The Florida Aquarium has three spacious zones.

They are Coral Archive, Rearing Greenhouses and a Coral Spawning Laboratory.

The Coral Archive offers care to over 15 species of Corals saved from the Florida Reef Tract.

This lab also houses the largest collection of Staghorn Coral sperm in the world for visitors to see.

The facility aims to cultivate endangered coral species for future generations.

The Coral Spawning lab is a highlight of the Coral Complex.

This lab nurtures newborn Corals until the juvenile stage before they are left in the ocean.

Majestic Sharks and Rays

The Florida Aquarium’s Shark Bay is a must-visit for all visitors looking for some thrill.

As you approach the massive shark tank, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe for these apex predators.

The exhibit is home to several species of sharks, like the nurse, blacktip reef, and sand tiger sharks.

You can find Stingray Beach next to Shark Bay.

Here visitors can interact, play and get up close and personal with the Stingrays.

Guests, especially kids, love to stroke their wings as the ray glides beneath their fingers.

It is a must-visit zone for an unforgettable experience.

Aquatic Predators: From Alligators to Pythons

The Florida Aquarium is not limited to showcasing marine life alone.

It also sheds light on the diverse array of creatures that call the Sunshine State home

The Wetlands Trail exhibit features a variety of native flora and fauna.

One of the highlights of this zone is the Wetlands Gallery.

Here you’ll encounter American alligators basking in the sun.

The Wetland Trail also showcases captivating creatures like pythons.

The Burmese python is a significant member of this zone.

Roseate Spoonbill

Discover the stunning pink bird native to Florida, the roseate spoonbill. 

Often mistaken for flamingos, these large wading birds are renowned for their vibrant pink feathers and distinctive spoon-shaped bills. 

Their pink hue is derived from the carotenoid-rich organisms, such as shrimp, that comprise their diet. 

When they are juveniles, spoonbills have a lighter shade of pink, but as they grow and mature, their plumage gradually transforms into deeper and darker shades of pink.

Tomato Frog

Tomato Frog
Image: Facebook.com

Tomato frogs reside in Madagascar, in forests, marshes, and riverine areas. 

Male tomato frogs display orange and brown colors, while females exhibit a striking red hue. 

The vibrant coloration of the tomato frog serves as a warning to predators, indicating its toxic nature. 

When faced with a threat, the tomato frog can release a toxin, deterring potential predators.

Garden Eel

Garden eels make burrows in sandy habitats to safeguard themselves from predators. 

They typically venture out of their burrows solely during mating season to seek potential mates.

In this species, the males are considerably larger compared to the females.

Cownose Stingray

Cownose Stingray
Image: Facebook.com

If you wonder what to see in Florida Aquarium, do not miss the unique cownose stingrays. 

Cownose rays possess a uniquely shaped head and elongated pointed wings, making them easily recognizable. 

These rays are predatory, primarily feeding on invertebrates. 

They employ their mouths to suction in food and rely on their crushing tooth plates to break the tough shells of their prey.

This species is renowned for its extensive migratory schooling behavior.

Giant Green Anemone

The giant green anemone may appear harmless but can devour fish and other small creatures. 

Its striking green coloration is derived from a symbiotic association with microalgae and zooxanthellae, similar to corals. 

Interestingly, anemones are closely related to corals.

These organisms share common traits with corals, such as the presence of stinging cells, radial symmetry, and the ability to reproduce sexually or asexually.

Green Moray Eel

Green moray eels commonly inhabit crevices within rocks and coral reefs. 

Their green coloration is attributed to a unique mucous coating that envelops their bodies. 

Pot-Bellied Seahorse

Pot-Bellied Seahorse
Image: Facebook.com

The largest seahorse in Southeast Australia’s waters is the pot-bellied seahorse species. 

Its notable feature easily recognizes it – the sizeable brooding pouch, which is more prominent in males than in females. 

Male seahorses carry the female’s eggs in their brooding pouches until they hatch, which takes approximately four weeks. 

During the mating season, males inflate their brooding pouches to a larger size to attract potential mates.

Seahorses have no true stomach and feed by sucking small shrimp into their straw-like mouths. 

They swiftly digest their food as it passes through their bodies. 

Because of their unique digestion process, the Aquarium provides seahorses with three meals a day, which is the highest feeding frequency among all the animals at the Aquarium.

Giant Pacific Octopus [GPO]

Giant Pacific Octopus [GPO]
Image: Facebook.com

The giant Pacific octopus (GPO) is known for its impressive size, intelligence, and curiosity. 

The largest recorded GPO weighed a remarkable 600 pounds! 

This species of octopus displays remarkable intelligence, capable of solving puzzles and opening jars. 

It is also believed that they can imitate or mimic other octopuses.

The GPO excels in camouflage, skillfully manipulating its color-changing cells called chromatophores to blend seamlessly with its surroundings.

While a group of octopuses is called a consortium, it is uncommon to witness octopuses interacting with one another as they tend to be solitary creatures.

Moon Jelly

Welcome to the bizarre realm of the moon jelly, an extraordinary invertebrate. 

These peculiar creatures possess short tentacles, lack eyes and a brain, yet possess four stomachs that aid in digesting tiny food particles such as phytoplankton. 

Although they possess stinging cells in their tentacles, humans generally cannot perceive their sting, which is mostly undetectable.

Florida Aquarium tickets 

Here are the best Florida Aquarium tickets for all visitors who wish to enjoy the marine beauty in Tampa. 

Entry ticket: This is the simplest ticket option that provides skip the line access to the Aquarium. 

Combo Tickets: Combo tickets offer entry to Florida Aquarium and another Florida attraction at discounted prices. You can visit Tampa Zoo, Dinosaur World and more.

Tampa City Pass: The Tampa pass offers entry to 5 attractions. It includes the Florida Aquarium, Busch Gardens, Zoo Tampa and 2 attractions of choice. 

Featured Image: Flaquarium.org

About the author

Harshitha’s heart lies where greeny mountains meet stretches of beach. She believes getting lost is the best way to explore