Underwater Beauty at Shedd Aquarium
Underwater Beauty a new special exhibit sponsored by Citadel

 

Watch sea jellies pulse, eels ribbon and a rainbow come alive with reef fishes. In Shedd’s new special exhibit, 100 species from around the world embody living art shaped by the unmatched forces of nature and time.

Underwater Beauty is now open for a limited time.

 

buy tickets

 

meet the animals

Underwater Beauty Neighborhood Murals

Dive into a world of beauty worth saving with street art across Chicago, from Edgewater to Bronzeville, all inspired by the diverse animals of Underwater Beauty.

underwater beauty
murals map

need to recharge?

Need to recharge? Take a break for beauty with our Underwater Beauty live cam! Discover the dreamlike patterns of angelfishes, wrasses, tangs and butterflyfishes.

what beauty moves you?

Beauty comes in every variety, above and below the waves. What beauty catches your eye? Try our quiz to find out—and see yourself transformed with the results!

take the underwater beauty quiz!

Beauty worth saving

Every aquatic animal is beautiful. Each one features colors, patterns and rhythms exquisitely evolved for surviving and thriving underwater. The mandarin dragonet, whose toxicity is advertised with swirling psychadelic patterns? Beautiful. The mudpuppy, whose drab skin hides it in plain sight on the muddy lake bottom? Beautiful too!

 

At Shedd, we want to ensure that all underwater beauty is conserved, protected and treasured because each animal plays a critical role in maintaining the balance and health of its aquatic environment.

 

How can you help save Underwater Beauty?

Help restore local beaches and forest preserves by joining a Great Lakes Action Day.

Support Shedd’s conservation work, from studying beautiful native Great Lakes animals to monitoring sharks in the Caribbean.

Look nature in the eye. We all benefit from taking a break to connect with beauty–locally, virtually and around the globe.

Reject single-use plastic, which harms wildlife as it pollutes our waterways. #SheddtheStraw!

share #underwaterbeauty

Tag your favorite #UnderwaterBeauty sighting on Twitter and Instagram, and we’ll share it below and in the exhibit!

    Underwater Beauty a new special exhibit sponsored by Citadel
    Beauty worth saving
    Underwater Beauty a new special exhibit sponsored by Citadel
    Beauty worth saving
    instagram

    peacock mantis shrimp

     

    Bulging, compound eyes can detect colors that humans can’t even see.

    longnose hawkfish

     

    A plaid fish? This bold red-on-white pattern is the perfect camouflage among branching corals and sea fans.

    dragon wrasse

     

    Head-to-tail spots and splotches conceal the front of this “dragon’s” body from predators.

    copperband butterflyfish

     

    A large eyespot on either side of its dorsal fin makes predators think this fish is coming when it’s really going.

    pyramid butterflyfish

     

    Blocks of yellow and white break up this fish’s shape, making it difficult for a predator to target.

    spotted sea jelly

     

    A pulsing mode of locomotion makes sea jellies the most efficient swimmers in the animal kingdom.

    weedy seadragon

     

    Leaf-shaped appendages let these seahorse family members glide undetected among seaweed.

    glass catfish

     

    Rippling headfirst into the current, these transparent fish blend in anywhere—even in clear water!

    ribbon eel

     

    These undulating eels change color—and sex—from blue-lined males to solid yellow females.

    Beauty worth saving
    Underwater Beauty a new special exhibit sponsored by Citadel
    Beauty worth saving
    Underwater Beauty a new special exhibit sponsored by Citadel

    peacock mantis shrimp

     

    Bulging, compound eyes can detect colors that humans can’t even see.

    longnose hawkfish

     

    A plaid fish? This bold red-on-white pattern is the perfect camouflage among branching corals and sea fans.

    dragon wrasse

     

    Head-to-tail spots and splotches conceal the front of this “dragon’s” body from predators.

    copperband butterflyfish

     

    A large eyespot on either side of its dorsal fin makes predators think this fish is coming when it’s really going.

    ribbon eel

     

    These undulating eels change color—and sex—from blue-lined males to solid yellow females.

    spotted sea jelly

     

    A pulsing mode of locomotion makes sea jellies the most efficient swimmers in the animal kingdom.

    weedy seadragon

     

    Leaf-shaped appendages let these seahorse family members glide undetected among seaweed.

    glass catfish

     

    Rippling headfirst into the current, these transparent fish blend in anywhere—even in clear water!

    pyramid butterflyfish

     

    Blocks of yellow and white break up this fish’s shape, making it difficult for a predator to target.

    Beauty worth saving