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A white wave shape.


From a big family

More than 1,000 sea anemone species are found throughout the world’s oceans and survive at depths of more than 32,000 feet below sea level. The largest and most diverse varieties live in shallow tropical waters.

At the Aquarium

Underwater warriors

Some colonies of anemones fight other groups to protect their territories. They live in large “armies” near each other. “Scouts” look for space to claim. If an anemone from another group gets too close, “warriors” slap it with special tentacles that leave patches of stinging cells stuck to the intruder.

Help protect sea anemones

Though sea anemones are not endangered, pollution, over-collection, trampling by careless visitors and other human activity can have a negative effect on them. So tread lightly when you’re in their neighborhoods. Even the Pacific Northwest’s giant green sea anemone (about as big as a dinner plate) is vulnerable!

Quick facts

These creatures can survive at depths of more than 32,000 feet.

Though most anemones stay in one place, they can “swim” by flexing their bodies!

A mucus layer protects clownfish from an anemone’s sting.

Explore More Invertebrates

Website maintenance

Please note: Our ticketing and membership systems will be offline for approximately two hours starting at 9pm Pacific on Tuesday, February 20. During the maintenance window, online ticketing and membership will not be available.

Thank you for understanding.

Support the Seattle Aquarium

Two sea otters at the Seattle Aquarium floating on the water in their habitat, holding onto each other demonstrating a rafting behavior.

With your help, the Seattle Aquarium builds connections with our community to inspire conservation and curiosity for marine life. When you make an end-of-year gift by December 31, you'll be joining us in protecting our shared marine environment—now and for generations to come. Thank you!

An adult sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium looking upwards with its front paws resting on its front.

Giving Tuesday

Make a tax-deductible donation to the non-profit Seattle Aquarium

Your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 thanks to a very generous anonymous donor!

Sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium laying on its back, raising its head and front paws.

Cyber weekend

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