The aquarium first opened at Mall of America in 1996 under the name Underwater World to which Krech, O’Brien, Mueller & Associates (KOMA) provided miscellaneous design services. In 2008 the company was acquired by Merlin Entertainment who worked with KOMA and Kay Elliott Architects to re-brand the aquarium to Sea Life. Major updates such as added touch pools, elevated viewing platforms, added life support systems, and complete rearrangement of the guest circulation transformed the space into a much more interactive and dramatic experience. In 2015 a sting ray touch pool was added that encompassed approximately 900sf of space as well as a life support system expansion themed with a large wooden shipwreck. The addition of this allowed for increased interaction with animal life and provided a major visual impact for guests walking above at the main mall level.