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June 5, 2019

Moon Bay jellies touch tank NOW OPEN at Florida Aquarium

By Laura Byrne

Ever wondered what jelly feels like? Now is your chance to find out! Moon Bay is NOW OPEN at the Florida Aquarium!

Moon Bay is the fourth touch tank exhibit in the country where you and the kids can TOUCH a jelly, so it’s truly a unique experience! Don’t worry, the jellies won’t sting you.

Wait–we heard moon jellies CAN sting you. Fact: Yes, they can sting, but moon jellies are a species with a very mild sting that you won’t notice. It might feel sticky, but this is why you are asked to use two fingers to touch the top of the jelly.

Note: notice how we’re saying jellies and not jelly fish?!? Jellies are not fish, but Cnidarians and are related to coral and anemones.

It’s no coincidence that the exhibit is opening on World Oceans Day. While the exhibit is fun and interactive, there is also an important teaching moment about being good stewards to our environment.

Beautiful and calming to watch, a floating jelly also happens to closely resemble something more sinister to ocean wildlife…plastic bags. Wildlife may mistake plastic bags as food since the floating bags look so much like a jelly.

The Florida Aquarium is hoping it will inspire families to ditch plastic bags and opt for reusable bags.

There are two touch tanks, including one with a ramp access so people in wheelchairs can participate in this activity as well.

Florida Aquarium campers were among the first kids to experience the touch tank and we think they’re reaction sums it up pretty well…”COOL!”

Fun facts to share with the kids about Moon Jellies:

  • Moon Jellies are 95% water and 5% solid matter.
  • Jellies have no brain, heart or bones.
  • A group of jellies is called a bloom, smack or swarm.
  • Moon jellies eat brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp and krill.
  • The coloration of moon jellies depends on what they eat.