Bioluminescence, Biofluorescence, and Underwater Acoustics: Birch Aquarium Launches Oceans at Night

The new monthly signature event for 21+ kicks off January 26

La Jolla, CA (November 17, 2022) — Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego is launching Oceans at Night, a first-of-its-kind event that invites a 21+ audience to experience an immersive blend of art, science and technology after hours.

The new monthly series celebrates the wonders and mysteries of the ocean after dark. Oceans at Night features interactive experiences highlighting ocean phenomena that occur at night including bioluminescence and biofluorescence, while creating a fun, adults-only atmosphere with live music, a glow lounge with life-sized games, glowing nighttime dives and epic ocean views. Glowing cocktails and food by The French Gourmet will also be available for purchase. 

“We’re thrilled to be launching this new signature event, giving locals an opportunity to unwind and experience the aquarium like never before,” said Executive Director Harry Helling. “We often think of the ocean as silent, colorless and uninteresting at night. But there is a secret language of light in the deep ocean that we are just beginning to understand. I hope our guests are just as excited by the ocean at night as we are.” 

Each event is designed to connect guests with the aquarium's current exhibits and the scientists who study these ocean phenomena. With the aid of specialized lighting and glasses, guests will have the opportunity to explore the aquarium in a new light, seeing how some animals — including Crystal Jellies, Pacific Spiny Lumpsuckers, Strawberry Anemones and corals — transform in the dark. 

Oceans at Night kicks off on Thursday, January 26, 2023 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Events will be held on select Thursdays throughout the year. Tickets are $27 for members, and $30 for the general public. 

For those wanting to take a deeper dive into the event, an upgraded experience will be available. During this immersive 45-minute offering, guests will see how Weedy Seadragons glow red in the dark. It will also include an interactive experience with bioluminescence that can be enjoyed at home. Plus, aquarium staff will have a variety of different corals fluorescing in a rainbow of colors. The cost for the upgraded package is $67.50 for members and $75 for nonmembers. It includes one complimentary beverage and all of the other Oceans at Night activities. Limited capacity is available. Advanced purchase is recommended. Upgrades at the gate cannot be guaranteed.

Tickets for Oceans at Night will go on sale Friday, December 2 at 10 a.m. Visit for a full schedule and additional information.