Florida Aquarium to open jellyfish petting tank
TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - This is no April Fool's prank.
On Monday, the Florida Aquarium in Tampa unveiled plans for a jellyfish petting experience, set to open this summer.
The Moon Bay will be a 2,000-gallon, interactive experience where guests can actually touch jellies. The tank will be filled with unique moon jellies, "named for their translucent moon like circular bells."
The attraction is only the fourth of its kind in the country.
“Connecting our guests to the underwater world and inspiring them to care about every animal in the ocean, including jellies, is core to our mission,” said Roger Germann, President, and CEO of The Florida Aquarium.
Moon Bay will have two separate areas where visitors will be able to touch the translucent moon jellies as the creatures bodies glow with the "illumination of changing colored lights as they drift gracefully through the water."
Guests will also learn fascinating facts about these animals, including why moon jellies and their relatives aren’t “jellyfish.” (The correct term is “jellies” as they aren’t fish).
If you're worried about getting stung, there's no need: like jellyfish, Moon jellies do have those venomous, harpoon-like structures that can sometimes cause a painful sting but animal experts say their nematocysts are small enough to where they won't pierce human skin.
"This exciting new touch experience will undoubtedly change perceptions of these amazing animals, provide a rare opportunity for guests to interact with jellies, and enhance our world-class guest experience."