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Tentacles exhibit opens July 1

Jellyfish float mesmerizingly in their tanks in the Tentacles exhibit at the Texas State Aquarium, which opens July 4. Photo by JoAnna Kopp

When you enter Tentacles, the newest exhibit at the Texas State Aquarium, the dark, cool space invites you to wander slowly and dreamily past murals of wriggly octopus arms framing tanks of elegantly floating live jellyfish. Muted lighting creates a cool, mysterious atmosphere. The mesmerizing new addition to the aquarium opens to the public July 1, after a partial opening in June.

At the entrance of the now complete exhibit sits a jellyfish and cephalopod nursery, showcasing the stages of birth and growth. Farther in, visitors find a moon jelly touch tank. Reaching in to touch a squishy moon jelly is no danger — humans are insensitive to the sting of these gentle jellies.

Tentacles also features a 60-gallon tank for a giant Pacific octopus. Creative, interactive and curious, giant Pacific octopuses are wonderfully intelligent creatures. They are also restless and have been known to rearrange their homes, play with tank equipment and even escape.

Along with the displays of a wide variety of jellyfish is a cuttlefish tank. These masters of camouflage can change the color — and even the texture — of their skin in a quarter of a second flat. The creature puts on a rapid display of rippling, iridescent shades to intimidate or hypnotize predators. A relative of squid and octopus, cuttlefish have tentacles, an ink sac and a brain that takes up over half the size of their bodies.

The Texas State Aquarium is located at 2710 N. Shoreline Blvd. in Corpus Christi. Call 1-800-477-GULF or visit for more information.

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