The new Baltimore Aquarium dolphin show, Our Ocean Planet, explores the depths of Earth's waters by exploring a dolphin's world. Mixing conservation and science messages with fun, audiences leave not only amazed by the dolphins' flips and jumps, but with a deeper appreciation for the marine mammals.
Large monitors on either side of the pool replay some of the action plus show supplemental films geared toward conservation. At the Baltimore Aquarium, education is an integral part of the aquarium's mission, and the dolphin show is no exception.
Trainers show off the dolphins' leaps and splashes and even recruit a few audience members to participate. The show lasts about a half-hour, but it's best to arrive at least 15 minutes early. Sit in the "Splash Zone" (the first few rows) only if you don't mind getting wet.
Tickets and Times
Tickets: Dolphin show tickets add $3 to the regular price of aquarium admission. You must request that the dolphin show is added when you purchase your entry ticket to the aquarium.
Times: There are four dolphin shows daily:
- 11:30 a.m.
- 1:30 p.m.
- 3:30 p.m.
- 5:00 p.m.
Making Your Way to the Dolphin Show
The auditorium fills up quickly, so it's best to get there at least 15 minutes before showtime. The first few rows are the "Splash Zone" and, make no mistake about it, if you sit there, you very well could get soaked. That might be fun for the kids, but maybe not so much for mom and dad.
Dolphins Demonstrate Their Speed
Even though they are mammals, dolphins are incredibly fast swimmers. They breathe through the blowholes on top of their heads. Each time a dolphin surfaces, the flap over its blowhole opens. The dolphin then rapidly exhales and inhales, and the flap closes. In one breath, dolphins may exchange up to 90 percent of the air in their lungs, compared with a human's air exchange, which is approximately 15 percent. During the show, they display their speed by racing around the pool.
Several trainers work with dolphins simultaneously during the show, but usually only swims with them.
From the aquarium's Web site: Dolphins' curious behavior has convinced many people that they are very intelligent. When in aquariums and zoos, they quickly learn behaviors; they appear to be healthier when they are presented with games and tasks to perform. Although trainers rate their intelligence as equal to that of smart dogs, scientists disagree as to exactly how "smart" dolphins are. Until scientists devise a way to measure intelligence, this shall remain a mystery.
Dolphin Touches the Globe
The earth is a major theme of the show, so inflatable globes are used. Here, one of the dolphins tries to reach one.
Showing off Their Skills
While there is a large educational component to the show, there's plenty of simple old-fashioned fun as well. It's truly amazing to see what trainers can teach these wonderful creatures to do.
Visitors Get up Close and Personal
When the show ends, visitors can walk to the front of the tank to observe the dolphins more closely. Be aware, however, that if you do this you're at risk of getting wet. Dolphins are playful and enthusiastic and can jump or splash at any time.