Yet the halls of the Musee Oceanographique are lined with incredible artifacts and specimens from the deep sea, all preserved in state-of-the-art technology...from the early 1900s. Viewing many of the displays, with their sometimes crude preservation techniques, was like learning about museum technology from years ago. Kinda like how we feel in some wings of the Museum of Natural History in NYC. We can learn far more from the internet and the Discovery Channel, but it's still cool to see this history first-hand.
Since Hirst has his own unusual "preservation" techniques, the exhibit actually made a lot of sense once we saw it all together. Very cool and very creepy. But enough about that. The real stars here are the fish!
Heading into the basement aquarium levels, you will find all types of underwater wildlife to gaze at, from sharks to starfish to lobsters and even a sexy little octopus. (Yeah, we said sexy.) And don't forget about the deep sea critters. The aquarium has three levels, but overall it was smaller than we expected for the "best aquarium in the world." Compared to larger aquariums, it was at least easily navigable.
The aquarium, being so dark and full of strange animals in glass boxes, felt creepy at times, especially after we toured the Hirst exhibit. The dissected sheep has scarred us. Once we had enough, which was about the time we saw a lobster feeding itself, we escaped to the rooftop where the sunshine and beautiful Mediterranean sea awaited. It's a great place for photo ops and to fantasize about what kind of yacht you would buy...if you were a billionaire.
Inside Tip: Tickets for adults are 13 euros a piece while children get in for 6,50. This is a very small museum which makes it easy to see within a short period of time. But skip the gift shop. We saw nothing but cheesy touristy souvenirs which was a bit of a disappointment for Monaco.
[All photos: Jaunted]