After first visiting the juvenile Dolphins I then saw “Wild Arctic”. This was actually my third stop (explanation in the next installment), but due to a no-show, and a raw, intensifying rain, I sought refuge in the nearest indoor exhibit.
I was both surprised and disheartened to see I was the only one around, save two workers who were surprised to see me. I skipped the ride portion (I can go to Six Flags if I want rides- I was interested in things not available in Massachusetts) and entered a thoroughly decorated hall built to resemble an Arctic scientific outpost.
Thinking back on the experience, Radiohead’s Kid A comes to my mind: the specific song “Idioteque” because of the lines “ice age comin’, ice age comin'” and the alien, cold atmosphere; the album cover (used as the video’s backdrop) because of, well, obviously, the icy mountains.
After navigating a series of long, empty, industrial-feeling hallways, I came to a landing that looked over a dark, blue-lit lagoon. Three Beluga whales were being fed and coached by four trainers. Unfortunately, despite ten attempts, I could not capture one discernable picture. I lingered for a few moments and then searched for an underwater view.
On the way I passed a sleeping Polar Bear well-camoflaged with his exhibit background. With little ambient light and even with the flash, he was also invisible. I grew annoyed.
I then happened came across two of these fellows.
When I was younger, seals, sea lions, otters, and walruses failed to captured my interest compared to whales and dolphins. They seemed almost commonplace compared to a Humpback or Orca. The more I think about it, the more the face of a seal seems to slightly resemble a dog. As a result, I have very little knowledge about these two walruses. Among other things, two facts surprise me: clams are a major constituent of their diet, and despite what I assumed, they are rarely directly attacked by Polar Bears.
A little further down the hall and I found the underwater view I had hoped for. The lighting was still poor, and the Belugas moved very quickly through the water. They were extremely social and interested in me, and this one in particular made a very loud and very high-pitched squeal a few times at me.