Underwater Beauty: A New Special Exhibit Coming to Shedd Aquarium

The exhibit, opening May 25, explores the diversity of the aquatic world representing beauty worth saving

This May, Shedd Aquarium will celebrate the diverse and vibrant beauty of marine life through the opening of its latest special exhibit –Underwater Beauty. Featuring thousands of animals representing 100 species, Underwater Beauty promises to be the aquarium’s most diverse special exhibit in its 88-year history. Unlike previous special exhibits like Amphibians and Jellies, which focused on one species or class of animals, this exhibit will focus instead on the various forms of beauty in our lakes, rivers and oceans across the globe.

Developed and designed exclusively by Shedd Aquarium, the exhibit features five distinct rooms that display a variety of adaptations and characteristics of aquatic beauty, including Shimmer, Color, Patterns, Rhythm and a final room featuring ample seating and beautiful freshwater fish/plant life. As guests move through the space, they can watch sea jellies pulse, eels ribbon and a rainbow come alive with reef fish.Guests are encouraged to dive into their curiosity, discovering something new, making connections by looking nature in the eye and leaving with an appreciation for marine beauty worth conserving and saving.

“Beauty in this exhibit is truly in the eye of the beholder, and guests will learn how the animals use their stunning and surprising adaptations and behaviors in ways you couldn’t even imagine,” said Mark Schick, Director of Fishes Exhibit Development at Shedd Aquarium. “Underwater Beauty truly showcases the brilliance of biodiversity in our waterways, embracing beauty that comes in all different forms, shapes, sizes and colors.”

Each room will have a distinct feeling and mood, reflective of the theme (e.g. Shimmer, Color, Patterns, Rhythm and Moves You). Shedd also worked with the community to develop multi-sensory offerings like tactile elements, sounds and more, in an effort to make the experience more accessible and enjoyable for all guests.

Underwater Beauty is an evocative and immersive experience meant to astound the senses,” said Kris Nesbitt, Senior Director of Exhibits and Experience Development. “Everywhere guests look, there will be something new to appreciate. We hope guests leave the exhibit feeling inspired by the amazing beauty found underwater.”

Underwater Beauty marks the first special exhibit unveiled since Shedd launched its new admissions programs, enabling easier, more-inclusive access. The exhibit will be available to any guest with general admission, including those coming to the aquarium through free or discounted admission. As a thank you for their continued support, Shedd Aquarium members will receive special access to the exhibit starting Friday, May 18 – a week before the grand opening to the public. Members will also be able to take advantage of special members hours after the public launch.

Underwater Beauty will open in May 2018 and will run for a limited time.

NOTE: High resolution images and video are available for download at
Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

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