Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

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Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is located beneath the famous Santa Monica Pier.
Date opened1996
LocationSanta Monica, California, USA
Coordinates34°0′37.6″N 118°29′45.4″W / 34.010444°N 118.495944°W / 34.010444; -118.495944Coordinates: 34°0′37.6″N 118°29′45.4″W / 34.010444°N 118.495944°W / 34.010444; -118.495944
No. of species104
The California Moray Eel is one of the featured local species on display.
This California Two-Spot Octopus is 3-4 months old.

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is an aquarium in Santa Monica, California, located beneath the Santa Monica Pier, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. Since 2003, it is operated by Heal the Bay, a nonprofit organization.[1] It was formerly known as the Ocean Discovery Center and was operated by UCLA.[1]

As Heal the Bay’s marine education facility, it is open to the general public and attracts more than 65,000 visitors from around the world per year (approximately 15,000 are students). This facility offers educational programs, activities, and special events dedicated to marine conservation, pollution prevention, and environmental education.

Species on display include:






Octopus incident[edit]

In February 2009 the two-spotted octopus managed to manipulate the pipe connection that takes care of draining the water tank. Two hundred gallons of water from the valve flooded the visitor space.[2][3] The event received significant media attention.[4][5]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jenn Garbee; Nancy Gottesman; Stephanie "Tippy" Helper (1 October 2007). Hometown Santa Monica: The Bay Cities Book. Prospect Park Publishing. pp. 26–. ISBN 978-0-9753939-2-5.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2009-03-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Pool, Bob. "Octopus floods Santa Monica Pier Aquarium". L.A. Times. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  4. ^ Borrell, Brendan. "Are octopuses smart?". Scientific American. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  5. ^ Brulliard, Karen. "Octopus slips out of aquarium tank, crawls across floor, escapes down pipe to ocean". The Washington Post. Retrieved 14 April 2016.