What: Aquarium & Oceanography Institute
Where: 55 Coogan Blvd, Mystic, CT 06355
Phone: (860) 572-5955
The Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration is an aquarium and oceanography institute in Mystic, Connecticut. The Aquarium is one of only four facilities in the nation where you can see Steller sea lions or Northern fur seals, as well as being the first to attempt artificial insemination on a Beluga Whale. Some other exhibits include a ray touch pool, a penguin exhibit, and a bat cave.
The Institute for Exploration features maps, diagrams, and models from Dr. Robert Ballard’s explorations of the Black Sea and of the wreck of the RMS Titanic.
Mystic Aquarium was first opened in 1973 as a privately owned corporation. Industrialist, philanthropist, and principal shareholder Kelvin Smith chose Mystic, Connecticut as the site for the aquarium because of the area’s scenic shoreline and rich maritime history. In 1999, the aquarium and Ballard’s Institute for Exploration combined to form a $52 million dollar expansion. The expansion featured the Arctic Coast, which is a one–acre outdoor beluga whale display, containing 750,000 gallons of water.
Mystic Aquarium is the home of beluga whales, stellar sea lions, California sea lions, fur seals, African Black Footed Penguins, Moon Jellies, Sea Stars, Bats, Unicorn Fish, Blue Tang, Octopus, Leopard Shark, Sheephead Fish, Horn Sharks, and many other exciting creatures from the oceans of our planet that teem with life.