After a few more days of catching up on work and staying indoors to escape the humidity, I emerged from my hotel room to go on my first tourist activity of Charleston. One of my co-workers flew in to Charleston in preparation for the wedding that we will be attending this coming weekend, so I went with him to the South Carolina Aquarium.
I’ve been to the Shark Reef Aquarium at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, the Seattle Aquarium, and the Henry Doorly Aquarium in Omaha, so this was my fourth aquarium experience (as far as I can recall).
The first area we walked through was the turtle hospital, where they were nursing injured turtles back to health. This was an interactive experience where recovering turtles were visible along the walls, and there were exhibits showing what it’s like being a doctor treating a turtle.
After the turtle hospital, we moved onto the main section of the aquarium. Like all the others I’ve been to, it is particularly difficult to take good-quality photographs in aquariums due to all the reflections on the glass.
There was a section of the aquarium where you could reach into the water and pet some of the fish. I personally am not really the biggest fan of dipping my hand in water touched by hundreds of different people during a pandemic, and I also didn’t want my hand to come out smelling fishy, so I opted not to participate, but I took a photo.
The aquarium also had a random area near the escalators that housed a bald eagle. The photo looks a little weird because the eagle’s body was facing me, but it had turned its head nearly 180° so it looks like its head is facing away from me.
I have extremely bad eyesight, so when I saw this tiny bird eating something, I just assumed it was a worm, though I was wondering how the worm was so short and fat. Well, after opening the files on my camera and reviewing my photographs, I found out why—the bird wasn’t actually eating a worm, but rather, what appears to be a mouse fetus.
Next up was the reptile and amphibian section.
The last area of the aquarium we went to was the outdoor section.
There as a bird sitting outside that I think was a pelican, and it kept on dipping its beak into the water and trying to snap at the pufferfish. Needless to say, it wasn’t very successful.
There was a lot of boat activity that was visible from the aquarium, so I snapped a photo of the largest boat.
It took right around two hours for us to get through everything at the South Carolina Aquarium, and that’s without reading all the text, so if you’re a marine life enthusiast, this could easily become a 3- or 4-hour trip. This was one of the more interactive and education-centric aquariums I’ve been to, and there are many opportunities to learn new things through kinesthetic means.