From the canopy of our butterfly-filled, four-story rainforest to the bioluminescent depths of the little-known "twilight zone," explore the world's most vibrant, vital ecosystems from the heart of San Francisco.

Steinhart Aquarium is one of the most biologically diverse and interactive aquariums on Earth. Home to nearly 60,000 live animals, representing more than 1,000 unique species, it offers guests an unprecedented view of underwater and terrestrial habitats. From species displayed nowhere else in the world to exhibits about cutting-edge research in little-known ocean ecosystems, a visit to Steinhart Aquarium is full of discovery.

Since 1923, Steinhart Aquarium has developed a colorful history of firsts. From becoming the first public aquarium to display flashlight fish and coconut octopuses to advancing exploration of the ocean’s mysterious “twilight zone,” innovation and scientific excellence are in our DNA.

Today, Steinhart continues to shape the role that modern aquariums play in educating and inspiring the public about the biodiversity and sustainability of our oceans and rainforests.

A guest gazes in wonder inside the Amazon Flooded Forest tunnel

Exhibits that inspire

From our Venom: Fangs, Stingers, and Spines exhibit with over a dozen species that bite, stun, and sting, to our charismatic colony of endangered African penguins, Steinhart Aquarium captivates visitors of all ages.

Methuselah the Academy's Australian lungfish

It's o-fish-ial!

Methuselah, the Academy's beloved Australian lungfish, is officially the world's oldest aquarium fish! New DNA analysis estimates Methuselah's age to be 92 years old (± 9 years). We're thrilled to confirm this critical part of her life story—and proud to contribute vital data toward conservation efforts for her species.

View press release


An orange fish peeks out from the tentacles of a sea anemone

Hope for Reefs

The Academy’s bold initiative to research and restore critical coral reef ecosystems focuses on solutions to sustaining these “rainforests of the sea” for future generations.

Why we're hopeful

Biologist Vicki McCloskey feeds a hungry colony of African penguins

Animal care and well-being

Caring for nearly 60,000 live animals goes far beyond daily feedings and regular check-ups. Enrichment programs developed by aquarium biologists ensure that animal residents remain happy, healthy, and engaged.

Watch video

Incredible macro photograph of a dwarf cuttlefish embryo in its egg sac

Species Survival Plan programs

Steinhart biologists participate in a variety of breeding programs aimed at conserving species and maintaining genetic diversity in zoo and aquarium populations, including African penguins, frogs, cuttlefish, and corals.

Meet our new penguin chicks

Dive Safety Officer Mauritius Bell descends into a brilliant blue canyon off Grand Cayman

Scientific diving

From performing daily dive shows and keeping aquarium tanks pristine to conducting underwater research in ocean depths around the world, the Academy’s scientific diving program is making waves.

Dive in