The “Wyland Whale Wall,” as it is referred to by locals, is a fixture of Long Beach. Many people who drive by Shoreline Drive think the building is the Aquarium of the Pacific, but in actuality, the enormous mural—standing just as tall as the palm trees surrounding it—is part of the Long Beach Convention Center Complex.
As one of the largest murals in the world, it spans 116,000 square feet. From the street, you can see a variety of whales painted on the mural, but there are all kinds of creatures lurking just below the surface, including sharks, dolphins and sea lions. And all animals are painted to their actual size in real life.
The mural’s official name is “Planet Ocean” and was painted in 1992 by the world-renowned marine life artist Robert Wyland. He is so famous in the marine community that he is often referred to by just his last name. With the help of 200 volunteers, Wyland completed the mural in six weeks, which was given as a gift to the City of Long Beach upon completion. The mural is intended to ignite our childlike wonder and fascination with the sea.