Manhattan Beach

Shark Week Is Ending, but Sharks Always Rule Roundhouse Aquarium

Spy swell sharks and other gill-rocking wonders at the Manhattan Beach Pier.

Roundhouse Aquarium

What to Know

  • Roundhouse Aquarium Teaching Center at Manhattan Beach Pier
  • The aquarium is home to a few different sharks, including the horn shark
  • Free admission; open daily (check hours before you go)

For an animal that is typically not in our immediate vicinity, we landlubbers tend to think about sharks a good deal of the time.

That's completely understandable, and if you were to reveal that a large portion of your waking thoughts is devoted to sharkly matters, you'd likely find other shark-obsessed humans who felt the same way.

After all, the powerful predators swim through countless documentaries, thrill-filled novels, and as for movies? We're not even going to start humming da-na, da-na, da-na here — sharks are some of the blockbuster-iest stars to ever dominate our cinematic imaginations.

But the famous fishes come into their awesome own each summer during Shark Week, the Discovery Channel's week-long celebration of the behemoth beasties, those obsessed-over rulers of the deep.

That run comes to a close on July 31, 2022, which gill, er, will likely leave plenty of sharkists in search of more information, background, and, yes, educational encounters, too.

You won't meet the oh-so-iconic great white shark at the Roundhouse Aquarium Teaching Center at Manhattan Beach Pier, but the free-to-visit institution is home to horn sharks, swell sharks, and leopard sharks, too.

Spying these slick beauties from nearby is frankly neato, for any shark buff, and discovering how these sharks got their notable names? That's pretty clear, from the ridges atop the horn shark's head to the leopard shark's gorgeous patterning.

As for the aptly labeled swell shark?

These way-cool critters "...get their name from the ability to swell up with water when they feel threatened," a commendable and impressive tactic.

If you get your shark-centered fill of these fabulous fishies — we're not sure it is ever possible to get sharks, but just in case you do — there are dozens of other ocean animals to admire, crustaceans and jellies and octopuses and other favorites that hail just off the coast of Southern California.

The aquarium is devoted to "science-based and standards-aligned education programs" that celebrate "the oceans, tidelands, and beaches," and, like the ocean, it is open daily, though do check hours and details before you go.

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