The Vancouver Aquarium has just unveiled their latest exhibit, the Discover Rays Touch Pool, where you can connect with nature like never before. In the giant, 50,000L tank, you can observe the cownose and southern stingrays “flying” majestically beneath the surface. Then, once you muster up the courage, plunge your hand into the water and watch in amazement as these beautiful creatures swim up towards you. As they glide by you’ll get to touch and feel the stingrays. It’s an amazing, unique experience. One the entire family will definitely enjoy.
So, what does a stingray feel like? It’s one of those things that you need to feel for yourself, but the closest thing we could compare it to would be an undercooked lasagna noodle. A little slimy, a little squishy, but firm too.
We learned that stingrays actually love being touched. To them it feels like a little massage. You’ll see when you stick your hand flat into the water, they come up to meet it, much like a cat or dog would. Should the rays ever feel over-touched, there are large parts of the tank they can retreat to until they want to be near people again.
Worried about the “sting” part of the stingray? There’s no need to be. The Aquarium has trimmed the barbs down on the stingrays (this doesn’t hurt the creatures, it’s much like trimming your fingernails), and as long as you follow the directions of the staff and don’t grab at the stingrays, you won’t be stung.
But if you or your kiddos are still a little too nervous to stick your hand in the water, even the chance to belly up to the edge and watch the beautiful rays “fly” around the tank is an amazing experience.
One of the highlights for our kiddos was the viewing window where you can watch the behind the scenes support systems for maintaining the giant touch pool. It’s the first time the Aquarium has put in a viewing window to highlight the fascinating aspects of marine life care. You can watch highly trained expert staff maintain the optimal tank conditions for our stingray friends.
This was such a wonderful experience and it has definitely made our kiddos much more interested in ocean creatures! We think that you and your family will enjoy it too.
Discover Rays is included with the purchase of your general admission ticket.
845 Avison Way
By: Michelle Hughes