Monterey Bay Aquarium/Randy Wilder
Adult leopard shark in the Monterey Bay Aquarium kelp forest.
MYSTERIOUS WONDER: There aren't many things we don't know about nowadays. Pretty much all of us can program a DVR, or make a cup of coffee, or we know how the bill is passed. But for some reason the shark stays veiled, even with all the movies and television shows and novels created by the shark industry. (We want to see a book about sharks in love, but for some reason they're only ever on a rampage; marine-minded authors of the world, can you help us?) So when Shark Days roll around, or rather swim up, at a major aquarium, we always recommend them. They're good for lifting that veil and revealing that this beautiful creature isn't simply a set of large teeth and a big appetite; the shark is a wonder and deserves to be understood, and yes, even loved.
cr: Monterey Bay Aquarium/Randy Wilder
FEB. 11-12: The Monterey Bay Aquarium is hosting its annual Shark Days, and we like that they're happening over the weekend before Valentine's. It is a bit of a love-a-thon as people get to know this creature and watch feedings and take special behind-the-scenes tours. And artist Jim Toomey will be on-hand, too, or on-fin rather, signing books and talking with fans. Regular aquarium admission applies, and the behind-the-scenes tour is a bit extra. Honest, isn't this the perfect Valentine's day out for you and your ocean-adoring sweetie? Candlelit and dinner can be later; big gills and prehistoric power and powerful majesty take precedence.