Jellyfish exhibit opens at Ripley’s Aquarium

Courtesy photo

A massive display showcasing jellyfish has opened at Ripley’s Aquarium, representing the largest addition to the attraction since it opened 18 years ago at Broadway at the Beach.

The 5,000-square-foot Planet Jellies includes 10 interactive displays and tanks as well as a new concession area and soft playground for kids. Visitors got their first look at the additions starting Thursday, with grand opening festivities set for this week, including a ribbon cutting Wednesday.

“What makes our new expansion so unique is that guests will not only discover and learn about these amazing creatures, but they’ll also have the chance to actually touch one at the exhibit’s new Jelly Touchpool -- we think that’s going to be exciting for all ages,” said Craig Atkins, the aquarium’s general manager.

The exhibit, which shows the life cycle of jellyfish as well as conservation efforts, includes a massive tank that weighs more than 8 tons and is more than 20 feet long -- so big crews had to remove glass panels from the main entrance to get it in the building, Ripley’s officials said. Crews had to finish construction once it was in its new spot, they said.

More additions are expected this summer, Ripley’s spokeswoman Bethany Marshall said, but declined to give details Tuesday.

Ripley’s Aquarium is known for its tunnel that allows visitors to get an underwater view of the sharks and other creatures, as well as for its stingrays and interactive features.

Ripley’s also owns several attractions along Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach, including Believe It or Not, which has been a staple on the Boulevard since the 1970s.

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