Ahhh l’amore – Octopus Week at the Seattle Aquarium

Last weekend Susan and I went to the Seattle Aquarium – Susan’s first time there and my second.

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Though we were excited to visit the entire aquarium, we selected this specific day because a rare event was to take place.

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On this day, a male octopus was to be released back into the Sound after having lived at the Aquarium for a few months.  The purpose of his visit to the Aquarium was to meet, fall in love with and ultimately, well, this is a G-rated blog, but I think you know where this is leading.

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After success and many free meals, it was now time for him to return to the Sound. The Aquarium had week of Octopus-related festivities prior to his return to the Sound and dubbed this week, logically, “Octopus Week.” No one can say the Aquarium is not romantic, because they timed Octopus Week (and the male and female octopi’s “Blind Date”) around Valentine’s Day.

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Prior to the release time, Susan and I wandered the aquarium, appreciating all the educational elements offered children. The jellyfish ring is a must see in my opinion. We continued on and came across seals and other marine life including otters and water fowl that live their lives in and around the amazing Puget Sound.

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The aquarium is relatively young, having opened in 1977. The exhibits are very well done, but I personally feel the experience is geared more towards young children than it is adults. The opportunity for hands-on learning for kids is amazing. Numerous exhibits engage children and offer unique opportunities to learn about the local sea life.

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Now, back to the release of the male octopus. The build-up was great and the anticipation grew as divers entered the Sound, preparing to capture the release on video. The video was shown live to a captive audience in the main gallery of the Aquarium. Two marine scientists discussed the video scene and the octopus before it submerged and they took questions from eager kids. Finally, the time came, the octopus was walked down the long gangplank and hand released back into his home environment. He was chaperoned by scuba-diving scientists to ensure his safe re-entry into the Sound. Then he quickly darted for the safety of a nearby pier pylon.

While we were unable to capture the Octopus on video, here is a video summary of the rest of our Aquarium visit.

Once the Octopus was safely back home, Susan and I headed for ours. We enjoyed our visit to the Aquarium. This is a wonderful place for all ages, locals and visitors alike.

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