Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Give Blood During Shark Week- Help Save a Life!

Did you know? 

  • Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • More than 44,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • Just one pint of blood can save up to three lives! 

Did you know? 

YOU can help! Giving blood is a safe, simple process, and SEA LIFE is happy to be hosting a blood drive during shark week here at the aquarium.

The blood drive takes place on Friday, August 9th from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., and is one place you can give blood during shark week without losing a limb!

So how can you donate blood? 

First, you need to register. Registering for the SEA LIFE Aquarium Mall of America Blood Drive is quite easy-- just make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or go online at using the sponsor code 0177757.

Next, you will give your medical history, and are given a mini-physical, checking your temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and hemoglobin to make sure it is safe for you to give blood.

Finally, you will get to donate! Once you are finished with the donation, you will be offered refreshments, and as an added incentive, any donor will receive a free admission to SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium.

Have a question about donating blood? 

If you are unsure about being eligible to donate blood, or have any questions about donating, feel free to call the confidential American Red Cross Donor Health Line at 1-866-236-3276.

So... what are you waiting for?

If you began donating blood at age 17 and donated every 56 days until you reached 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood, potentially helping save more than 1,000 lives!

For more information about donating blood, visit

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Act Right Now to Save North Atlantic Right Whales

Did you know...

There are fewer than 500 North Atlantic right whales remaining-- this means they are close to extinction.

Did you know...

YOU can help! More than 70% of Right whale deaths are caused by humans, so that means there are many ways we can help out.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation, or WDC, are working with SEA LIFE to help campaign to have legislation in place to protect these creatures. The campaign will launch on World Ocean's Day (June 8th), and will go until October. When you come visit SEA LIFE beginning June 8th, there will be post cards available in the aquarium to sign the petition-- a simple signature can help save the lives of these beautiful creatures!

What are Right whales?

Found on the WDC website, Right whales usually swim along the east coast of the United States and Canada. They spend much of their time near bays, peninsulas, and in shallow coastal waters. Right whales, also known as Eubalaena glacialis, got their name by being considered the "right" whales to hunt because they are slow moving and coastal. They have a smooth back and no dorsal fin, and when they exhale, they create a V-shaped blow.  

     Photo from

So what are the top three threats for these North Atlantic giants?

According to the WDC website, the top threats include:

1) Vessel Strikes
2) Fishing Gear Entanglements
3) Habitat Degradation

These can all be prevented, and by signing the petition, we will be one step closer to saving the Right whales!

For more information on Right whales, or to donate to WDC, please visit

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Shark Parade to celebrate the 4th of July!

Have you ever imagined seeing a shark parade? Probably not... but at SEA LIFE Minnesota, that is exactly what happened! On the morning of Tuesday, July 2nd, a gang of sea creatures were released into the 500,000 gallon Atlantis tank, including brown, blacktip, and wobbegong sharks along with southern stingrays and a group of cobia. The SEA LIFE Minnesota staff worked hard making sure everything ran smoothly so the new critters would have a comfortable and safe transition into their new home.

  photo of the SEA LIFE team prepping for the release 

Among the group of sea creatures released in the tank is the brown shark, also known as the sandbar shark. According to, the sandbar shark is one of the largest coastal sharks, and can grow to about 7 feet long. 

Another shark we added to our SEA LIFE family is the blacktip shark, which is found in warm coastal waters around the world- so it often encounters people. Found on National Geographic's website, blacktip sharks can weigh anything from 66-220 pounds!

Some other cool critters we released into the tank are the southern stingrays. From, southern stingrays are feared because they have long tails that are equipped with one or more venomous spines. Even though they can't see their prey because their eyes are on top of their head, they can still sense them by using smell and electro-receptors.    

As part of the democratic theme this week, SEA LIFE Minnesota is inviting its Facebook fans to submit names for the two southern stingrays from now until July 8th. YOU could be the one to name these new guys as they adjust to their new home here at the aquarium.

Check out our Facebook page at:

Friday, May 31, 2013

LIONFISH: Delightful to Look at, Dangerous to Touch!

When thinking of a dangerous sea creature, what do you think of? Maybe a Great White Shark with sharp teeth, or a jellyfish with its stinger. But did you know that the lionfish is considered to be one of the most venomous fish in the sea?! The spikes that you can see on lionfish are called pectoral rays, and they are all extremely venomous.

Since lionfish are an invasive species, they multiply very quickly, and have huge appetites! Lucky for them, they are the predators, and are never prey--not even sharks want to eat these guys!

Kare 11 News caught up with a group of local high school students from Stillwater, MN who are spending their summer saving Little Cayman Island from these unwanted invaders. The instructor and organizer, Randy Christman, told the students they needed to stand on their heads under water in order to successfully catch the Lionfish. 
Check out the full story!

Lionfish usually hide during the daytime and remain motionless, and are awake during the night to feed. They catch their prey by trapping it into a corner, but they don't bother chewing their food--they swallow it whole! Their favorite foods on the menu? Small fish, shrimps, and crabs. Lionfish can live to be 16 years old when living in the wild.

So what happens if you get stung by one of these beautiful, but dangerous, creatures? Stay calm, but treat it right away. The best way to treat the sting is to heat the affected area. Although lionfish are fun to look at, it's probably best to observe them safely through the aquarium tank!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Twas the Night Before Fishmas

Twas the night before Fishmas, and underneath the mall
10,000 sea creatures were most excited of all.
Glowing algae was hung for all to see,
while coral was stacked in the shape of a tree.

The minnows floated along as they dreamed
about plankton, kelp, and other sweet things.
Even sting rays who rested just inches away 
anxiously awaited a man and his sleigh. 

Atlantis was teeming with holiday cheer,
knowing that Scuba Claus soon would be here.

When somewhere above came a splish and a splash,
and away to the surface the fish swam in a flash.

From sharks to turtles, all were excited to see
what the commotion in the water could be.
It must be a rock falling into the deep blue.
Or could the tales of Scuba Claus be true?

Rumors had spread about a jolly old soul
who brought gifts and goodies to the fish down below.
It was then that they saw them – a swift, tiny fleet
of eight seahorses, each one he would greet:

"Now Splasher! Now, Snapper! Now, Pincher and Poseidon!
On, Cuddles! On, Bubbles! On, Scales and Triton!"
From the bottom of the sea, one by one he would call.
"Now swim away! Swim away! Swim away all!"

Like currents they flew through the deep ocean sea,
gliding and spreading waves of Holiday glee.
Tangs and rays gathered, and knew it must be
cheery, plump Scuba Claus, the fish did agree.

Green Sea Turtles emerged for a closer look
of his eight tiny helpers and the bells that he shook.
The seahorses pulled the sleigh through rollers and waves,
right past the Jellyfish and toward Coral Caves.

Clownfish and tang greeted him there,
their colors stood out next to the white of his hair.

Claus wore a red coat that could be seen from afar, 
much like the skin of a nearby red-knobbed sea star.

Silently he floated towards the largest exhibit of all,
amazed that a 300 foot tunnel stood under a mall
1.3 million gallons is surely a lot,
but paled in comparison to the bag that he brought.

Toys and treats were welcomed by sturgeon and gar.
Their eyes looked amazed, their mouths stood ajar.
The spout of a snorkel was held tight in this smile,
while the bubbles encircled his face for a while.

Barnacles clung to his suit, sand entwined in his hair,
and the twinkle in his eye bared compassion and care.
He was generous and bright, a real pleasure indeed
and delivered his gifts with both swiftness and speed.

Even Caiman and Dart Frogs took note of their guest,
they caught a quick glance before their long winters rest.
Each of the sea creatures were eager to see
Scuba Claus in their home before his jovial flee.

It was then that he whistled and nodded to his team.
They glided with grace, with such style and gleam.
Away they flew through the Aquarium and out of the mall.
"Merry Christmas to everyone, and Happy Holidays to all!"

Stay tuned to SEA LIFE Minnesota's Facebook Page for the next verse! A new line will be posted every day until the night before Fishmas!

Write us a comment to be entered to win 1 of many cool prizes! Winners will be announced on Facebook!

Thanksgiving Treats Dished Up For Fishy Friends!

Our Caiman had a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday. With the help of our animal care team, the caiman had the pleasure of dining on fresh cut turkey! An enthusiastic audience watched on as the grateful caiman celebrated Thanksgiving SEA LIFE style! 

The tropical fish in Rainbow Reef also got in on the Turkey Day festivities, as they snacked on a Thanksgiving yams. Not only do these tasty treats add some variety to their diet, they also provide the creatures with some additional nutrients. 

Special thanks to all those who brought in food items for Second Harvest Heartland last week, your donation were very much appreciated!  


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Save $5 per ticket, and help those in need!

For the past ten years Second Harvest Heartland has been working tirelessly to put an end to hunger throughout the Midwest. Last year alone they distributed 51 million pounds of food to food shelves, soup kitchens and shelters in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. Donations from the community play a vital roll in helping Second Harvest continue their mission of ending hunger.

 Now through November 22, 2012 SEA LIFE Minnesota will be offering $5 off any Aquarium admission with the donation of a non-perishable food item! Come explore the wonders of the Aquarium while at the same time supporting a great local charity! Calypso (our largest Loggerhead Sea Turtle) weighs in at a staggering 350 pounds! Help us collect more pounds of food than Calypso weighs!

 Donations can be made at the SEA LIFE Minnesota Box Office, limit 5 per donation. This offer is not valid towards online ticket purchases. All food donations support Second Harvest Heartland:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Celebrate Shark Week at SEA LIFE Minnesota

At SEA LIFE Minnesota, we live every week like it's shark week; but even so, a stop to the Aquarium is the perfect way to celebrate one of the most exciting weeks of the year! Now through Saturday, August 18 we'll be offering our guests a shark infested experience with even more cool artifacts, activities, and interesting shark facts!

Not to mention, we have a couple cool activities to check-out this week:

Wednesday, August 15, 8:00am - 1:00pm

Shark Week becomes bloodier than ever...

SEA LIFE Minnesota is helping the American Red Cross circle their prey by hosting a blood drive Wednesday, August 15 from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. The blood drive will be held to help stem the tide of the constant need for blood. As an added incentive, anyone who donates blood will receive a voucher for a free admission to SEA LIFE Minnesota to use at anytime. To set the mood, SEA LIFE also will have a special tank with live sharks in the donor room.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012
8:00AM - 1:00PM
Coral Reef Room at SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium

For appointments please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or Click Here.

All presenting donors get a free admission to SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium! No cash value

Thursday, August 16, 8:30pm - 11:30pm

Sharks After Dark: Shark Week Edition

Discover over 10,000 sea creatures at SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium... after dark! Snack on the nacho bar and enjoy our Live DJ at the Aquarium. Then, get your game on with a 2-hour unlimited gaming card at Sky Deck in Mall of America (valid only on non-ticketing games). This is an all ages event, but if you're over 21, you may also enjoy drink specials at Sky Deck.

Admission includes:
• Aquarium Admission ($20 value)
• 2 Hours Unlimited Sky Deck Game Card ($20 value)
    Valid only for non-ticketing games 
• Live DJ at Aquarium
• Complimentary Nacho Bar
• Drink Specials at Sky Deck
• Scavenger Hunt
• Fun activities with cool prizes, including: hotel stays, restaurant gift cards, and Nickelodeon Mystery Passes.

SEA LIFE will be asking guests to go to to learn about shark finning and its dangerous effects to the shark population and the ocean's eco-system. Shark finning has become increasingly popular due to shark fin soup which has decreased the population of sharks by as much as 90 percent in certain parts of the oceans during the last 20 years. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sleep Under The Sea

Looking for an adventure of a lifetime for your kids? Here at SEA LIFE Minnesota you can experience sleeping under the sea OVERNIGHT!

Get ready for an experience that your group will never forget! This adventure gives you a backstage pass to the aquarium, where you can see all the animals in a very unique way. Sleep beneath sharks, sea turtles, and sting rays, OH MY! This amazing view will take your breath away.

Take a hike around the aquarium, then enjoy a Behind the Scenes tour of our  food-prep kitchen, laboratory and the "top of the tanks" - above the aquarium exhibits and as close as possible to over 150 sharks without getting wet! After you have had a chance to experience the Behind the Scenes tour, we provide a pizza party for your group to refuel, along with doughnuts and juice in the morning. 

We wouldn't let you leave empty handed. Every member of your group receives a souvenir pillow case, spotters guide, and T-shirt to remind them of their awesome time at SEA LIFE Minnesota. So when you are looking for a place to take your family or group on your next outing, come spend the night at SEA LIFE and experience something your kids will be talking about for years!

Reservations for overnight functions must be booked at least two weeks in advance. To reserve the event, please call 952-853-0612 or email You can also visit our website for pricing-