Alaska SeaLife Center
Steller sea lions steal the show at this research facility, which doubles as a terrific educational attraction and also the state’s only permanent marine-mammal rehab site. The Steller males can top out at 3.3 meters (11 feet) in length and over 1,100 kilograms (2,500 pounds): This impressive bulk helps them protect their harems of up to 20 females. The center is also home to seals, salmon and puffins, alongside less well-known critters like Muppet-looking wolf eels and giant Pacific octopuses, which are among the world’s most intelligent animals.
By Amanda Castleman, AFAR Local Expert
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301 Railway Ave, Seward, AK 99664, USA