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Head under the sea with the Tennessee Aquarium’s Ocean Exploration Member Night

Jul 29, 2022

Chattanooga, Tenn. (July 27, 2022) – Escape your troubles where life is the bubbles and learn about the wondrous things surrounding you when you’re under the sea.

Sea stars might look like simple creatures, but don’t let their humble appearance fool you. These unusual marine invertebrates have no brain – or even blood. They can regrow their lost limbs after becoming injured and push their stomachs out of their mouths to grab and digest their food!

Budding ocean explorers will get the chance to peer beneath the waves to learn all about sea stars and other amazing saltwater creatures at the Tennessee Aquarium’s upcoming Ocean Exploration Member Night on Friday, August 5, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

This free Members-only event will feature close encounters with ocean-dwelling creatures, learning opportunities with the experts who care for them, and ocean-themed games, activities, and crafts.

The River Journey and Ocean Journey buildings will be open for guests to tour, and event sponsor Clumpies Ice Cream will offer delicious ice cream treats with some yummy ocean-themed gummy toppings.

A child has their face painted

Left: A guest has their face painted courtesy of Faces by Deb face painting. Right: Guests draw with sidewalk chalk near the Tennessee Aquarium plaza.

Between meeting an abundance of sea creatures and chatting with Aquarium experts, guests will get the chance to dig for real shark teeth, craft their own octopus, lend their artistic expertise to an ocean habitat drawn in sidewalk chalk, or get their faces painted like their favorite aquatic animals.

The Aquarium’s resident ichthyologist – a fish expert – Dr. Bernie Kuhajda will even lend his expertise to explain how fish like the enormous Gulf Sturgeon can travel between freshwater and saltwater habitats throughout their lives.

This exploration under the sea is also a chance to experience Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea, a temporary exhibit featuring larger-than-life sculptures of marine animals made entirely of plastic waste that washed onto beaches from the ocean.

Aquarium members can bring as many guests – of any age – as are included on their membership. Dual memberships receive admission for two, while family membership holders can bring up to seven people.

Pre-registration is recommended, and guests may register at https://community.tnaqua.org/events/ocean-member-night.

Interested explorers who don’t currently have an Aquarium membership – or whose membership will lapse before the event date – can learn about membership options at https://tnaqua.org/members/.

A guest touches a shark made from plastic
Children make ocean themed crafts

Left: A guest examines Sylvia the Silvertip Shark, a sculpture from the Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea exhibit. Right: Guests make Aquarium-themed arts and crafts.

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