Here, fishy, fishy!

Charles Darwin in effigyRebbe Darwin in the foyer of the aquarium.
The next morning we walked down Vauxhall Bridge Road to the Sea Life London aquarium and got in as they opened for the day. So did also half a dozen school classes. Their main goal in life was apparently to be as loud as possible, and their teachers were dedicated to helping them in their efforts. The aquarium was marketed towards children, even though the darkened corridors and the calm of the fish tanks lent themselves to a more meditative experience than a hundred yelling pre-teens allowed. Fortunately they were in more of a hurry to get out of the learning experience than we were, so they eventually disappeared ahead of us. I've noticed before that modern museums often seem to encourage noise, both in exhibits and visitors. Presumably this has something to do with making science more attractive. I just don't get it.

Streaked gurnardIt was almost impossible to get good pictures of the fish, but here is a streaked gurnard. Note the tendril-like reformed pectoral fins, they are supposedly for probing for food on the bottom, but dammit, they actually walked along the bottom on those. I'd never heard of these, but they are apparently quite common fish.
We went slowly from tank to tank, gazing at marine creatures we'd never seen before. I reflected that it didn't seem as if they were interested in eating each other. Do they carefully select animals that aren't interested in each other or do they keep them constantly satiated with easily accessible non-struggling fish food, so that they aren't tempted to go for live food?

The shark tank was rather eerie, not only containing sharks and a big ray, but also some really big fish, all swimming around and around and around. We were reminded of the mental polar bear that used to be at Skansen, pacing back and forth, back and forth, back and forth in its pen. (It's been gone now for many years, I hope they shot it.) I wonder what the sharks thought of it all.

After surprisingly many hours we emerged, blinking in the brighter lights outdoors and then decided to walk along the South Bank. The used book market immediately trapped us and some urgently needed books were purchased. We counted bridges over the Thames and found a pub to have late lunch at, while peering at a cricket match on the telly. UK vs Australia, I gathered.

We got to Tate Modern, and looked at a bit of an exhibition. You need a very large museum to exhibit some modern art, e g when a piece consists of a Volkswagen bus and 24 sleds… However, we felt the need for more air and escaped out again fairly soon, continuing towards the Tower. We got there just in time for their closing. Bummer! We browsed the museum shop for a while and then went home, picked up food in a Sainsbury and ate in our room.

1 comment:

kai said...

Belatedly I realised that the “really big fish” were tuna.