At times when stress levels rise in our daily lives, there is an undeniable allure to the notion of escaping — even if only digitally — to another place.
A 2015 study by researchers at Plymouth University in the U.K. found links between watching aquariums and mental health benefits, including improved mood and noticeably lower blood pressure and heart rate.
For 28 years, the Tennessee Aquarium has served as a welcoming place to relax, decompress and forge meaningful bonds with the natural world.
Despite temporarily closing to guests on March 14, Aquarium staff recognized the beneficial role the animals could continue playing in buoying the spirits of home-bound digital visitors.
The Aquarium’s ongoing “Aquarium At Home” effort was born of this realization. From daily live streams and meditative videos to curated science-at-home educational activities, Aquarium At Home content strengthens viewers’ connection to the natural world while providing a much-needed break from the sheltering slump.
The latest additions to this animal-fueled mental care package are a trio of new Tennessee Aquarium webcams provided to the public free of charge thanks to support from EPB. Through these always-online, video streams, guests can digitally check in on even more animal residents, including:
- Indo-Pacific — A mesmerizing exhibit filled with brilliantly colored reef fish from the life-rich stretch of ocean known as the Coral Triangle
- Lemur Forest — An aerial view of an adorably raucous, shockingly agile community of Ring-tailed and Red-Ruffed Lemurs
- Moon Jellies — With new color-changing lighting, the ghost-like bells and swirling movement of the Aquarium’s Moon Jellyfish are even more hypnotic
These newest cameras bring the Aquarium’s webcam offerings double the available live streams to six. Digital visitors have long been able to peer in on longtime favorite exhibits, including:
- Penguins’ Rock — Watch as Gentoo and Macaroni Penguins rocket through, into and even out of the water. (Bonus: Chick Watch 2020 has officially begun on this stream as the birds’ nesting season has already produced five eggs!)
- River Otter Falls — North American River Otters romp across land, slide down chilly streams and playfully swirl together under the water
- Secret Reef — Check in on the Aquarium’s largest exhibit to view a huge variety of marine life, from toothy Sand Tiger Sharks to enormous Green Sea Turtles to elegantly gliding Cownose Rays
For easy access to all Aquarium At Home content, including virtual meeting backgrounds, naturalist blogs, Weekday Wonders educational content and more, visit tnaqua.org/aquarium-at-home.