The sea is beautiful, mysterious, and menacing. What lies beneath was put on display earlier this month after the grand opening of the Phillip and Patricia Frost Science Museum in Miami, Florida. The design of the aquarium parallels the experience of submerging the ocean. I began touring the four story exhibit from the open water top level and descended each floor to experience the diverse sea life that inhabit different depths. Everything from the seahorse to the hammerhead shark was housed in the display. Like humans, sea creatures must form relationships to survive the dangerous world they live in. Parasitism, commensalism, and mutualism are three types of relationships that can form above ground and under the sea; mutualism, of course, being optimal for every creature involved. We all know a parasite–the person who never pays back borrowed money or the telemarketer exploiting a senile older man. Under water, it’s the worm who latches on and feeds from fish gills. Have you ever seen a vagabond hanging onto a caboose of a train? Similarly, barnacles attach harmlessly to a humpback whale which carries them to new food sources as an example of a commensal relationship. Do you know a power couple that is prolific when they work together? Under water, sea anemones catch a ride on top of a crab while the crab, in turn, uses the sea anemone for stinging protection–a dynamic example of mutualism.
Of course, this trip sent my imagination into overdrive. I was inspired by the beautiful sea creatures and envisioned living in their world. I was able to mimic the way the fish swam in my own imagined underwater world thanks to a collaboration with Peruvian photographer, Roli Photography.
Discounted tickets can be found through Culture Shock Miami for $2.50. Below is a preview of some of the creatures you can discover!
Phillip and Patricia Frost Science Museum
1101 Biscayne Blvd| Miami, FL 33132
For more information on the exhibits, click on the link below:
Phillip and Patrica Frost Science Museum