Need to relax and unwind? Then visit a quiet corner of the Temperate Gallery on Level 2, where we have three different sea jellies on exhibit.

Let the slow, undulating movements of our flower hat (Olindias formosus) and Leidy’s comb (Mneimiopsis leidyi) sea jellies and South American sea nettles (Chrysaora plocamia) calm your mind and enrich your soul.

Leidy’s comb (Mneimiopsis leidyi) sea jellies
Leidy's comb sea jellies (Mneimiopsis leidyi)

With the spring opening of the Science of Sharks exhibit in the lower level of the West Wing, the Aquarium had to find new locations for many of the sea jellies that had been exhibited there.

According to Chris Doller, our resident sea jellies expert, the Aquarium tries to rotate different types of jellies and may offer new exhibits later in the year. In addition to the three jellies currently on exhibit, visitors may also be fortunate to meet some of our other jellies during one of the frequent Live Animal Presentations throughout the day.

Chris said that many of the jellies from the former West Wing exhibits were sent to other zoos and aquariums across the United States. Those that remained were moved to behind-the-scenes holding tanks.

“We definitely understand that many people miss the jellies exhibits. Although an exact date has not been set, we do expect to re-exhibit more jellies in the next one to two years,” said Chris.

And many of the jellies exhibited at the Aquarium are born and raised behind the scenes in our Jelly Lab. Those that don’t become exhibit animals here are often sent to zoos and aquariums around the globe.

A close-up view of a flower hat sea jelly.
A close-up view of a flower hat sea jelly (Olindias formosus)
South American sea nettle
South American sea nettle (Chrysaora plocamia)

And that’s not all! Some jellies at the Aquarium are a bit more mobile. Look for educators strolling the exhibit path carrying brightly lit tubes pulsing with moon jellies (Aurelia aurita). It’s a fun way to get a close-up look at these cnidarians. Be sure to bring your questions!

moon jellies holding jelly tube
Moon jellies in a mobile jelly tube
educator present jelly tube to young visitors
An educator presents a jelly tube to young visitors