After our seventh show in Brighton last night, today was a day of rest. Tyler was taken on a trip out of town and Tamara was spending another day out in London, leaving Robert and Erin to man the fort in Brighton.
Seemed like a good opportunity to do #20. Pet a starfish at the Sea Life Centre!
So being Aussies who live on the coast, and both of us enjoying the beach and the water, we've seen our fair share of fish. The Brighton Sea Life Centre is the oldest operating aquarium though so we just had to see it. Apparently during it's 140 year history it has had some super stuff in it, including a ballroom, a jazz club, a bowling alley - pretty much anything that you wouldn't think related to an aquarium! Kinda cool though.
Now it is fitted out to be a child's educational dream. And we enjoyed it too.
As we entered, Robert scoped the place out, like video games have taught him, always check to the sides before proceeding. Then we entered the main area of the aqaurium, with walls and viewing pools full of sea life. Of course we had to make our way straight to the rockpools, though we were briefly distracted by the Japanese Spider Crabs, which were enormous. And so we tackled #20's specific titled task. Erin got to touch the starfish, while Robert got the crab!
The guide at the rockpool was great and tried to tell us tons of stuff which we promptly forgot, but he did point out one of the starfish who was growing back a limb, which was pretty groovy.
Then we made our way around the rest of the centre, gleefully pointing out different things that appealed to us, and grabbing a snack midway. Robert proved to be extremely knowledgeable about a number of the sea creatures - really how does he know that much stuff! And we exchanged stories about our own adventures on coral reefs, fishing and diving.
We paid the extra few pounds to have a guide across their larger water pool in a glass bottomed boat too. The guide was great and the little kids aboard loved it, asking her about every fish they saw, especially what was the biggest and smallest of each species. We had a giggle about how little the sharks were in the tank - definitely not man eaters! And discovered that cows and vending machines kill more people every year worldwide than sharks. Shark cullers - take that! Though we suppose that wouldn't cross your mind if a shark was biting off your leg...
Anyway, we loved seeing all the creatures - from the water snakes, eels and lizards, to the cuttlefish, stingrays and turtles. We found Nemo and we spent ages watching an octopus waiting for it to move. We lauged about taking a Jaws phtot with the little sharks in the pool and were entranced by the pretty and poisonous frogs. We also had a go at pressing all the sound buttons in the prehistoric sea creatures section and guessing what size a megaladon is (Erin guessed correctly). We learnt that zebra sharks start life with stripes, but then changes to spots to better camouflage itself in it's choice of home, bringing a whole new meaning to 'a zebra can't change it's stripes', and that unicorn fish have absolutely no purpose to their 'unicorn horns' according to recent studies - this triggered a conversation at a later point on what unicorn's horns are actually made of... compacted hair? bone? magical substance? What do you reckon?