THERE ARE plenty of wow moments during a visit to the Sea Life Centre on Blackpool seafront.

There are two chances to see the attraction’s stars swim around the main tank: the glass tunnel and a giant window.

And there are lots of other varied forms of water wildlife, from across the globe, to keep all ages fascinated.

I must admit to being disappointed the last time I visited, about five years ago, finding it less varied and interesting than other Sea Life centres such as Scarborough.

But this time I spent almost two hours roaming around, gazing into tanks, following fish on their never-ending circular journeys, and chatting with knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff who are just dying to tell you about their floaty friends.

Apparently there are 2,500 aquatic creatures in the 50-plus tanks and displays of this labyrinth on the promenade between the piers.

You might not see all of them – a handful seem determined to hide behind rocks or foliage – but there’s certainly lots of variety amongst the hundreds you can see.

There are display boards by each tank to tell you everything you need to know about the residents.

There are the giants of the deep who get star billing – sharks, rays and a huge sea turtle who swims majestically amongst the carnivores in the main tank.

Then there are the exotic creatures – tiny seahorses, jellyfish, rainforest amphibians, and of course those colourful, coral-dwelling stars of Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.

But amidst all this spectacular marine life, I couldn’t help being equally impressed with the mundane, dull-coloured fish that scuttle around recreations of shoreline shallows and man-made harbours.

Perhaps it’s because these are our fish, rather than something from a far-flung ocean, in settings that we see all the time from above the surface.

Sea Life Blackpool positively teems with rays – the Stingray Adventure zone boasts Honeycomb Whiptail Rays, Cownose Rays, Blue Spotted Stingrays.

The newest gallery is Turtle Rescue, which is particularly aimed at inquisitive youngsters with lots of interactive activities showcasing efforts to protect the endangered creatures.

The Rockpool offers families a hands-on learning experience with the starfish, sea urchins and crabs, or they can go tropical at the Rainforest Ranger table and hold while the bugs are see butterflies.

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