Fathom a Lionfish

Lion fish

Built on a rising spiral, the main exhibits of the Baltimore Aquarium  climb up and around with levels linked by a series of short escalators. The pathway is darkened and narrow and lined with glass tanks contained within brightly lit alcoves with pictures and descriptions of  the various species that are schooling freely in their precisely defined and detailed environments.

Despite of the crowds and claustrophobia this was one of the most worthwhile outings we’ve embarked upon, especially given the 100 degree heat and a fairly long wait in the direct sun to buy tickets. Because it’s mid-summer and families are vacationing by the hordes, the numbers of children were almost dangerous. I should have been armed with ear plugs and steel-toed shoes. But the creatures, each displayed in their very particular and delicately balanced habitats were not only engaging but magnetically captivating, and worth the mashed toes and shot nerves.

My favorite, the Lion fish, is a stunning example of the mysteries that abound in nature, flaunting their utter simplicity and symmetry. It is hard to fathom how one creature evolves into such a complexity of patterns and goemetric parts with such perfectly symmetry, and with such exquisite flair.  All those feathery feathers and spiky spikes, and that face!  And dangerous, apparently, as some have escaped gulf aquariums during hurricanes and threaten local species and coral formations with their poisonous venom, bringing divers out to capture and restore them to their natural habitats……..fathom that!

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