It’s impossible, if you’re a “Simpsons” fan, to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Catch a Wave exhibit without thinking of Reiner Wolfcastle’s mock IMAX film about holes: “From ze widest gully to ze deepest trench ... Holes define who we are, and where we are going. Although Rover here may not know it, he is participating in a ritual as old as time itself: he is giving birth to a hole. Or, consider the dolphin, nature’s most filmed creature. Even they have holes – blow-holes!”

Maybe it’s because I’m not a surfer or almost drowned in the Pacific, but the hyperbole of “Catch a Wave at the Aquarium of the Pacific … and discover the power and beauty of waves” appears laughable.

Yet it seems I should have drowned in the irony, as the exhibit, like waves on a pebble, smoothed out my rough hostility towards moving water. Divided into various sections, Catch a Wave (a Beach Boys classic) commences with the Waves Gallery where an aquarium simulates how waves are formed.

Faces of a Tsunami has personal accounts of the deadly 1960s Valdivia tsunami in Chile following the most powerful earthquake ever recorded (9.5) and explores the causes of these super-sized waves.

Additional exhibits scan the history of surfing from the birth of wave riding to the animals that have adapted to living amongst crashing waves.

I admit I wanted to go Free Willy on the creatures subjected to the manmade waves they’re forced to weather for the aquarium-goer’s pleasure.

If they’ve adapted to crashing water, they could adapt to Morton Salt and my bathtub. Free the anemones!

The Aquarium of the Pacific is located at 100 Aquarium Way in Long Beach. For more information, call (562) 590-3100 or visit