When most people think about sharks, the last thing they want to do is have an interaction with them.  But how cool would it be if you could do it safely?

That will be a reality at the new interactive exhibit that The Aquarium of Niagara has just unveiled.  It's called the M&T Bank Shark and Ray Bay and it will house stingrays, sharks and other marine invertebrates like sea stars, crabs and anemones.

They broke ground on the exhibit last year and are very excited to open it up to the public.

It's the third major exhibit at the Aquarium of Niagara in three years, following a series of projects including Penguin Coast and Aliens of the Sea featuring jellyfish.

This one was a $1.85 million project and will be the second-largest exhibit in the Aquarium’s 54-year history.

According to their website:

Studies indicate that guests are 75% more likely to remember what they learn from an interactive experience, and interactions with ambassador animals promote empathy. This in turn increases the likelihood that guests will want to protect the environment and wildlife, which is a big part of the mission of the Aquarium of Niagara.

And for those of you who are concerned about touching things in the age of COVID-19, the executive director of the aquarium says they've taken as many precautions as they can to stay safe.

A couple of good pieces of information. One, the virus does not actually live in saltwater which this exhibit is.  There are 35-hundred gallons of saltwater and we'll be asking all of our participants not only to follow all the guidance, rules, and policies that we have in place as a part of general admission and visitation to the aquarium, but everyone will be asked to wash their hands before interacting with the space as well as sanitizing them after interacting with the animals as well." - Gary Siddall, the executive director of the aquarium

For more info on the brand new exhibit, click here.