Sea Urchin

Aquarium of the Pacific

Sea Urchin

Aquarium of the Pacific


The Sea Urchin is a massive sculpture of a sea urchin with spines that light up at night. Abram Santa Cruz was inspired to make this art sculpture as a result of being a dive volunteer at the Aquarium. His dedication toward ocean sustainability and the preservation of sea animals inspired him to create the sculpture and pursue a degree in Environmental Science.

The sculpture is 20 feet tall and 28 feet wide. The “Legs” of the Sea Urchin have a beautifully designed laser cut pattern on them. They are held in the middle by a metal bracket. Coming down from the center of the Sea Urchin is a center pole with seating to accommodate 8-12 people. The spines are made of aluminum and acrylic tubes with multicolored programmable LED lights running through them. The sculpture was originally displayed at Burning Man in 2015 and won a Global Arts Grant Honoraria the following year.

The Sea Urchin will be on exhibit at the Aquarium until May 2020

Technical Specs

Footprint: 22ft diameter at base, 28ft diameter total
Electrical Draw: 1000 watts
Seating: 4 Seats holds about 12 people
Weight: 1000 lbs
Heavy Equipment Required: No

Past and Current Exhibits

2019 – Present Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, CA
2016 Lightning in a Bottle
2015 Burning Man


The sea urchins spines light up with multicolored LED lights at night.

The Aquarium unveiled a new art installation on its front plaza on November 27. The massive sculpture of a sea urchin with spines that light up at night was created by a group of artists and engineers called Liquid PXL, led by lead artist and local resident Abram Santa Cruz. One of the members is a volunteer diver at the Aquarium and was inspired by the Aquarium’s animals to create the sculpture.

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2020 Updates

Replaced the Light Tubes
New electrical system
Added seating
Add center pole for extra support
Replaced the LED controller
Replaced the power supplies

Interactive System

People love technology and they love being able to control art projects. We’re giving them the ability to do just that. The interactive component of the project will be operated from an iPad control booth which we tested at burning man this year. You can see the test we performed with people operating and interacting with the iPad in the video above.

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