Even though this is my second year living in Chicago, I still haven’t visited a lot of the major attractions that drive tourists to our city. My love for history and learning has led me to visit all the museums, but for some reason, I never got around to going to the Shedd Aquarium. One of my roommates talks very highly of the aquarium and mentioned that this month, Illinois residents get free admission. With no plans on Sunday, we decided to make the trip to the Museum Campus so I could finally say I’ve been to the Shedd.
As we got off the train and got closer to the aquarium, we found ourselves trapped behind groups of Segways and strollers. It was a beautiful day, so naturally, several families had also planned trips to see the pretty sea life. Once we beat the crowds and were welcomed inside with lovely air conditioning, no time was wasted and we began to walk around the different exhibits. There’s something really special about being able to see such a variety of species interact with one another in their habitats. When we were in the shark exhibit, I couldn’t help but marvel at how graceful and calm they looked. In the past, I’ve always feared them, but now I just appreciate how incredible of an animal they are.
Another thing I really appreciated about the Shedd, was its determination to educate the public. Throughout the building, there were sculptures of different sea animals made entirely out of plastic. This encourages people to think twice about how their daily choices are affecting animals on the other side of the planet. Humans are tactile creatures with an amazing propensity for compassion. However, that compassion is often not founded from textbooks or television shows. Most people find it difficult to care about a species halfway around the world or to worry about the destruction of land they have never stepped foot on. Aquariums facilitate a connection between those who may never leave their country, or even their home state and the animals. I left the aquarium with a higher appreciation for ocean life, and made a promise to be mindful of every creature that lives on Earth.
If you get the chance to visit, the Shedd is a beautiful place to spend the afternoon. And I know for a fact that the beluga whales will be very happy to see you!
Song of the Week: Swallowed In The Sea- Coldplay :)