Monterey Bay Aquarium Turns 25 as presented by: Los Angeles Times

The Cannery Row landmark, which opened 25 years ago this week, has become one of the state's leading tourist attractions, drawing about 1.8 million visitors yearly. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is located on the site of a former sardine cannery on Cannery Row on the Pacific Ocean shoreline in Monterey, California. It has an annual attendance of 1.8 million and holds 35,000 plants and animals representing 623 species. The aquarium benefits by a high circulation of ocean water which is obtained through pipes which pump it in from Monterey Bay. Among the aquarium's numerous exhibits, two are of particular note: The centerpiece of the Ocean's Edge Wing is a 10 meter (33-foot) high 1.3 million liter tank for viewing California coastal marine life. In this tank, the aquarium was the first in the world to grow live California Giant Kelp using a wave machine at the top of the tank (water movement is a necessary precondition for keeping Giant Kelp, which absorbs nutrients from surrounding water and requires turbidity), allowing sunlight in through the open tank top, and circulation of raw seawater from the Bay. The second exhibit of note is a 4.5 million liter (1.2 million gallon) tank in the Outer Bay Wing which features one of the world's largest single-paned windows (crafted by a Japanese company, the window is actually five panes seamlessly glued together through a proprietary process). Sealife on exhibit includes stingrays, jellyfish, sea otters, an 11 lb. lobster over 50 years old, and numerous other native marine species, which can be viewed above and below the waterline. For displaying jellyfish, the MBA uses an aquarium called a Kreisel tank which creates a circular flow to support and suspend the jellies. Visitors are able to inspect the creatures of the kelp forest at several levels in the building. The aquarium does not house mammals other than otters.

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