The aquarium of Key West is not very large, but is very beautiful and interesting place to visit.
At the entrance after purchasing our tickets, a man told us that the admission price does allow you to return for a second visit.
Anyway we were there only for one day, so this was not important to us.
Inside they have one small pool near of entrance where you can pet and touch fish and conchs, the large-sized sea shells.
We spent almost an hour looking around at all kinds of fish.
They have really big variety of sea life to show.
I enjoyed very much to capturing photos of the small aquariums and their little inhabitants.
Some of them were actually enjoying to pose for me.
Especially this little beauty.
She was coming again and again trying to show up all her beauty to me.
She was the best model I ever had.
The staff really do their best to make it informative and keep the crowd entertained.
The highlight of our visit was definitely watching the Nurse shark feeding and learning more about them.
The Nurse shark, also known as the Ginglymostoma cirratum, gets its name from Greek Roots, ,,stoma” means mouth in Greek language.
It may come from the strange sucking sounds they make when searching for prey in the sand.
They can get quite large with a length of up to 4.5 meters (15ft) as adults. These large creatures reach weights as high as 150 kilograms (330 pounds). Typically, they live to between 25 and 35 years.
Nurse sharks are found in the Eastern and Western Atlantic, the Eastern Pacific, and the Caribbean. They dwell on the sea floor in warm, shallow waters.
They are nocturnal, hunting alone at night, and resting during the day in large groups.
They are able to breathe while remaining still by pumping water through their mouths and out their gills.
Did you know that Nurse sharks are actually very lazy animals?
When it comes to feeding, most of them prefer to scavenge rather than actively hunt. They have been observed resting on the ocean floor, supported by their fins, possibly to lure crustaceans looking for shelter into becoming dinner.
If they can get a free feed without having to spend energy to catch it, it is the best solution for them.
In the Nurse shark pool just a few of them were swimming, mostly the young ones. The rest of the sharks were sleeping all together in the corner.
Soon the girl came with the bucket full of fish cut in a small pieces. The first thing she did it was to pour some of the water from that bucket right above sleeping sharks’ heads.
The smell of fishy water waked them up, so they approach the spot where girl was standing.
She had a long pincette in her hand. She was picking the pieces of fish from the bucket and she was feeding them directly in their mouth.
They reminded me of little puppies that are waiting under her legs for treats.
It was an amazing experience, I have never seen something like this in my life.
The aquarium is very interesting and educational and is doing its best despite the damage received during the recent hurricane Irma on August 30, 2017.
This was the smallest aquarium I’ve ever visited, but at the same time the place was very charming.
They also have some big outdoor tanks, just outside of the building. In one of them some huge fish were swimming around.
My boyfriend was joking with me asking me if I would dare to jump in, because he saw the fear on my face.
Those fish were really huge, of course I wouldn’t dare to swim between them, I was even afraid to approach the pool fence. You can see them on the photo bellow. On the photo they doesn’t seem big but some of them were almost 2 m long.
Some of them were almost big as I am. I bet they could eat me in a minute.
The Key West aquarium is also the home for several rescued turtles that were injured during the hurricane and their stories are truly fascinating.
We’ve been to some super highly rated aquariums like the one in Copenhagen Denmark, that was the most impressive one I have ever seen, but before you visit this one in Key West I need to tell you that this one isn’t new and modern at all, so don’t get disappointed.
This one was built in 1916, and it was also damaged a lot by hurricane Irma.
You can still see some holes on the walls, and there are a lot of things that still need to be fixed.
So by visiting this aquarium, your admission might help them to pick up their pieces after the big damage and to fix the things that need to be fixed.
Therefore I am asking you to support it and to visit this place while in Key West.
I hope you enjoyed this small article.
Stay tuned to learn more about the rest of our adventures in Florida.
If you wish to learn more about this aquarium, and the programs they are supporting please check their website Key West Aquarium.