A Cute Penguin ‘Encounters' a Faux Monolith in Monterey

Honestly and truly: This Monterey Bay Aquarium resident did not encounter a strange object, but staffers wanted to have a little topical fun.

Clinton Blackburn/Monterey Bay Aquarium

THE MYSTERIOUS MONOLITHS... that have recently been popping up in the most surprising places? There's a pattern: Whoever is placing these strange sculptures at various points around the planet is/are doing so under an open sky, with nature as a beautiful backdrop (or at least nearby). But what if a monolith showed up framed by a giant ocean-type setting, like inside an aquarium? It's a cute concept that the social media team for the Monterey Bay Aquarium decided to run with on Monday, Dec. 7, all to deliver a bit of cheer. First things first, however: A monolith did not, repeat, did not show up inside the Cannery Row destination, nor was there a penguin-monolith encounter as depicted.

IT'S ALL FOR A BIT OF FUN, but also serves as a good and important reminder that the celebrated aquarium remains closed and is requesting the public's continuing support, in myriad ways. One route people can take right now? Letting their representatives know that zoo and aquarium funding is needed (you can find more information here). Becoming a member is also a wonderful choice, as is donating to the conservation-strong institution or shopping its gift store for holiday presents.

OF COURSE, now that we are really mulling the situation over, it seems like an aquarium would be a very sensible spot for an otherworldly monolith to show up. From the cosmic moon jellies, which frame the center image above, to the multi-tentacled cephalopods, to the color-changing cuttlefishes, the Monterey Bay Aquarium brims with beasties that seem as though they were hatched in some far-off galaxy. But they're earthlings, like us, and helping them however you can is cool, as cool as a mysterious monolith suddenly popping up, if only for a smile, in front of a giant tank of undulating undersea animals.

Contact Us