Moody Gardens Reveals New Aquarium Pyramid: Humboldt Penguins, Oil Rig Aquarium, and a Shipwreck Replica
Hidden behind the doors of Moody Gardens’ Aquarium Pyramid awaits an awe-inspiring underwater experience that includes a new Humboldt Penguin Habitat, a Mangrove Lagoon touch tank that is home to stingrays and sharks and a multi-level 30,000 gallon Oil Rig Tank.
But, these new treasures won’t remain hidden for much longer. Moody Gardens will host a Grand Reveal May 27th, giving guests their first glimpse into the completed multi-phased $37 million renovation project at the Aquarium Pyramid.
Guests will journey to new depths this summer, exploring the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, South Pacific, North Pacific, and the Caribbean. Each ocean exhibit highlights different marine sanctuaries and relationship aspects to the seas with conservation messages that underscore the vital importance of the oceans.
Meet the new Humboldt Penguins
Moody Gardens is thrilled to introduce these unique warm-climate penguins that hail from Southern Hemisphere waters from the Antarctic Pole to the Equator. This is the second penguin exhibit at Moody Gardens and the Humboldts are right next door to the South Atlantic Penguin Habitat, home to the King, Gentoo, Chinstrap, Rockhopper, and Macaroni penguins.
Gulf of Mexico Rig Exhibit
See the balance of technology and nature through this impressive 30,000 gallon, two-story, 23-foot scale model oil production platform aquarium. These man-made islands provide valuable attachment surfaces for a variety of encrusting organisms to create an entire reef ecosystem found throughout the Gulf of Mexico.
Journeys to the Caribbean begin with the new Mangrove Lagoon. Touch Cownose Stingrays and Bonnethead Sharks as they swim lazily around the jungle of stilt roots that most of the region’s fish call home. Naturalists are on hand to help guests learn more about these important ecosystems.
Moody Gardens is highlighting a hidden gem from the Gulf of Mexico. The new Flower Garden Banks Exhibit brings attention to the unique tropical coral reef system found just 115 miles offshore.
With help from the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, guests experience the East Flower Garden Bank, West Flower Garden Bank and Stetson Bank up close and personal. The exhibit includes examples of Brain, Star and Elkhorn coral, to name a few, all of which can be seen on the banks. The Flower Garden Banks reef system is one of the healthiest in the Gulf and Caribbean regions.
Guests are completely immersed in the Caribbean Exhibit with breathtaking views as Sharks, Rays and other tropical fish swim overhead while they walk through the tunnel.
New to the exhibit is The Pride, a 19th century rum-runner shipwreck replica, loosely based on the vessel sailed by famed Galveston pirate Jean Lafitte. Divers spent a total of 68.5 hours underwater putting together the ship, which arrived in about 75 individual pieces.
Also new are in-water presentations by Moody Gardens divers. With additions to the exhibit, guests are bound to have questions. Divers are now able to take and answers questions while in the exhibit.
North Pacific Gallery
This exhibit focuses on the high-energy coastline to the west. Seals and Sea Lions are featured prominently alongside other kelp forest inhabitants including Leopard Sharks and the long-lived Rockfish. Jewel aquariums highlight the coastal surge zone, ingenious Giant Pacific Octopus and the relatively unknown deep water coral communities that act as nursery habitat for many commercial fisheries.
The Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid as the largest and most diverse aquarium in the southwest. For tickets, go to moodygardens.com. Moody Gardens® is a public, non-profit, educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.