I Spy: Five Not-so-Hidden Easter Eggs at the South Carolina Aquarium | South Carolina Aquarium

I Spy: Five Not-so-Hidden Easter Eggs at the South Carolina Aquarium

Apr 03
A wide-angle photo shows the guest entrance of the South Carolina Aquarium with a directional street sign in the foreground.

I Spy: Five Not-so-Hidden Easter Eggs at the South Carolina Aquarium

It’s springtime, and that means it’s time to talk about Easter eggs. But we’re not referring to colorful kitchen arts and crafts or hidden trinkets filled with chocolate; we’re talking about subtle imagery and messages throughout the Aquarium that those with a keen eye can spy. Follow our lead to hunt for some incredible Easter eggs next time you’re at the Aquarium!

I Spy: Once You See It, You’ll Be Floored

Let’s start from the ground and work our way up. When you enter the Great Hall, it’s easy to focus onward and upward toward the cylindrical Carolina Seas tank and the escalator to our second floor. But did you know there’s a 12,000-square-foot map right beneath your feet? “Terra Firma,” created by artist Thomas Sayre, depicts South Carolina’s coastline and shows the intricacies of our waterways woven throughout the coastal land. This terrazzo map is created from recycled glass that once held juice or medicine, bound together with epoxy. As you walk along the first floor, see if you can find the black circle that marks the Aquarium’s location!

I Spy: A Sight for Soar-ing Eyes

A stainless steel mobile art installation is attached to the roof of the South Carolina Aquarium and is comprised of hundreds of wave-like metal pieces

Once you’ve spotted your favorite coastal locations on the floor, hop on the escalator and look up! Hanging from the ceiling, spanning 180 feet across the length of the building, is a mobile featuring more than 200 stainless steel components. Artist Timothy Rose created the piece to represent the beauty of South Carolina’s flora and fauna. The title of this work is “Water/Fish/Bird,” so it’s up to you to decide what it represents! What do you see — the reflection of the sun upon waves in the ocean, schooling fish swimming through the water or hundreds of birds soaring above us in the sky?

I Spy: A Sight Unseen

On the second floor, the first thing you’ll likely notice is our beautiful resident bald eagle, Liberty. But have you ever noticed the large stained glass window to the left of her exhibit? Artist Ellen Mandelbaum created this colorful masterpiece to represent South Carolina’s aquatic diversity and the flow of water from ecosystem to ecosystem. “Glass Landscape: Mountains to the Sea” is 30 feet tall and 18 feet wide, and Ellen used multiple techniques to achieve the colorful effects. Take a moment during your next visit to look at the details of the piece, including the silk screened and hand-painted touches!

I Spy: Glance Behind the Mega-watt Smile

A wide angle photo of a curved wall in the South Carolina Aquarium shows a variety of shark jaws, behind which is painted a life-sized silhouette of a megalodon shark

As you continue your journey through the Aquarium, you’ll pass by a giant megalodon shark jaw. While it’s a jawesome sight, we’d be remiss not to point out the painted-to-scale, 50-foot long megalodon silhouette stretching along the curved wall! Next time you stroll by, take a step back to see the full size of this prehistoric predator and how you measure up in comparison!

I Spy: An In-sight Into Elevation

Looking up at the exterior of the South Carolina Aquarium, the top of a jagged wall is highlighted in red to show the elevation pattern of the state from west to east

When your visit to the Aquarium concludes, take one last look back at the building after you exit. Now that you’ve explored habitats and animals representing the entire state, you can get a glimpse of our state’s topography featured in our architecture! Gaze up at where our front wall meets the mesh of our Mountain Forest exhibit, and you’ll see the wall isn’t a straight horizontal line — from left to right, the peaks and valleys in this design represent South Carolina’s elevation, from the mountains to the sea!

Be sure to point out these artistic Easter eggs to your friends and family the next time you visit, and you’ll likely show them details they haven’t seen before!


Published April 3, 2023

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