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Feeling stressed? Let these live underwater scenes from some of the West’s top aquariums relax and soothe you.

Kate Wertheimer  – March 16, 2020 | Updated March 29, 2020

The world can be an overwhelming, anxiety-inducing place—especially right now. When we’re feeling too wound up, too sad, too scared or too lonely, we always look to the natural world for solace. There’s nothing like the quiet calm of an underwater scene, and since most of us aren’t going SCUBA diving anytime soon (or even out to an aquarium), we’re bringing the experience to you, with live cams from some of the West’s best institutions. We hope these penguins, jellyfish, sea otters and sharks bring you some much-needed joy and hope.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium in TK has ten live cams spread throughout its campus, covering everything from sharks to moon jellies. They also have cams dedicated to specific habitats, like the kelp forest and coral reef. And if you’re really missing the beach, the Monterey Bay cam will transport you straight to the shoreline.

Aquarium of the Pacific

This Long Beach, California-based aquarium has all the heavy-hitter cams like otters and penguins, but also offers an interesting (and extremely soothing) look into what the local area’s waters are like with their Honda Blue Cavern cam.

Seattle Aquarium

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Catch up with the Seattle Aquarium’s sea otters and harbor seals (Barney, Q and Hogan, much obliged) on the institution’s two live webcams. The Seattle Aquarium also has an awesome library of videos, including events like pacific red octopus hatching from their eggs and sea otter training sessions.

Oregon Coast Aquarium

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The Oregon Coast Aquarium offers three live cams: one for sharks, one for sea otters and one for sea birds. The shark cam view shows the tunnel visitors walk through, and has bubbles rising up in front of the viewfinder, making it seem like you’re part of some sort of underwater-living community.

Steinhart Aquarium

The Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco has four unique, HD webcams: the Penguin cams (with educational feeding demonstrations at 10:30am and 3pm); the Reef Lagoon Cam (where you can watch stingrays glide by); the Philippine Coral Reef Cam (allowing you to explore the deepest indoor coral reef in the world); and the Farron Islands cam (putting the almost-impossible-to-access islands in your sights).

Waikiki Aquarium

The Waikiki Aquarium has a webcam set up specifically for a Hawaiian Monk Seal named Hōʻailona, who was found on the island of Kauaʻi in 2008, after he had been abandoned by his mother at birth. He’s lived at the Aquarium since 2011, and has led the institution to partner with NOAA Fisheries to provide education, conduct outreach, and continue studies necessary to gain important information on monk seal health and disease.

Vancouver Aquarium

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Pick your favorite from jellies, sea otters and penguins, each with their own webcam at the Vancouver Aquarium. Or, why choose? You’ve got time on your hands to check in on all three.

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