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Swim with sharks, sea turtles at Florida Aquarium's newest exhibit

Posted at 1:50 PM, Oct 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 13:53:04-04

TAMPA, Fla. - The Florida Aquarium is unveiling a new interactive experience where you can swim with sharks and sea turtles! 

Guests now have an opportunity to enjoy The Heart of the Sea exhibit, where you can dive with bonnethead sharks, a nurse shark, southern stingrays, and two endangered sea turtles that were rehabilitated by the Aquarium. 

"Our Heart of the Sea exhibit provides a unique underwater perspective by allowing guests to experience the exhibit both physically and through technology," said The Florida Aquarium CEO Roger Germann. "It will also, for the first time, directly connect the important conservation work we are doing at our Apollo Beach Center for Conservation to every guest visiting the Aquarium."

The Heart of the Sea is a 100,000-gallon tank that utilizes multi-camera interactive technology, live programs, and in-water experiences to share the story of the conservation work being done by The Florida Aquarium. 

The exhibit also features PVC coral trees inside the tank, just like the ones the Aquarium has planted in nurseries in the Florida Keys and off the coast of Cuba during its coral conservation work.

It's all part of the new Waves of Wonder gallery, which highlights a variety of mesmerizing animals including blue blubber jellyfish, a giant Pacific octopus, clownfish and king crabs.

In all, the exhibit is home to more than 400 animals, with others including goliath grouper, tarpon, Spanish hogfish, rooster hogfish, squirrelfish and grunts. 

The Heart of the Sea swim costs $85 on top of general admission. 

The Waves of Wonder gallery, featuring the Heart of the Sea exhibit, is just the latest reason to visit The Florida Aquarium, which was recently voted the number three aquarium in North America by USA Today!