Join us in celebrating the 186th birthday of Jules Verne. Considered one of the fathers of science fiction, he’s best known for his novels Around the World in Eighty Days (1873), Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), and our favorite, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870).

Readers in Verne’s day loved his vivid portrayals of adventurers Phileas Fogg, Otto Lidenbrock and Captain Nemo, as well as his fantastical inventions — including a powered submarine and deep-sea exploration — some of which are now part of our modern world.

Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea inspired many ocean explorers, including William Beebe, Sir Ernest Shackleton and Robert Ballard. Jacques Cousteau called it his “shipboard bible.”

Verne’s stories are still widely appreciated today, nearly 150 years after they were first published. He is the second-most translated author in the world, between Agatha Christie and William Shakespeare.

We tip our hat to Verne and the giant octopus from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea when ”Tentacles:  The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes" opens April 12.

The special exhibition includes the most diverse living collection of these cool creatures ever, plus art, literature and contemporary cultural artifacts showing how they have captured our imagination for over 4,000 years. We feature the illustration above from as well as an early edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

While we all have to wait a little to see “Tentacles,” we don’t have to wait to journey 20,000 leagues under the sea, courtesy of this Google Doodle from 2011 in honor of Verne’s birthday. Dive in!

Learn more about “Tentacles”


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About me

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, perched on the edge of a world-famous coastline, is your window to the wonders of the ocean. It’s located on historic Cannery Row in Monterey and is open daily except Christmas Day.

For more information about our animals and exhibits, and to view our live web cams, please visit

Hours of operation vary by season. Daily schedules and tickets are available on our website or by calling
(831) 648-4800.