The interest of sea life was especially high during antiquity, as it was depicted on various art expressions as the famous Minoan mural paintings. Indeed, the Minoan frescoes depicting dolphins, fishes and sea sceneries, indicating that Minoans knew many things about these creatures. Also, in ceramic depictions of this period, the so-called "Marine Style" is characterized by detailed, naturalistic depictions of octopuses, Argonauts, starfish, triton shells, sponges, coral, rocks and seaweed. Crete was often called as "Thalassocracy", a sea power, and the period of Minoan dominance in the Aegean is sometimes called "the Minoan Peace," due to the fact that there was no need for city walls.
Modern Crete, still engaged with the liquid element, continues the sea research including protection, caring and studying sea creatures. “CretΑquarium”, as the name reveals, the Aquarium of Crete, is the first large aquarium of Greece and one of the largest and most modern ones in Europe. It is located 15 km east of the city of Heraklion and is an entertainment, educational and informational institution which is not restricted in Cretan marine world but it expands it to Mediterranean ecosystems. More than 2000 sea animals belonging to 200 different species can be found in the Mediterranean basin, inhabiting into 60 tanks, which successfully represents the Cretan and Mediterranean Sea beds.
On the occasions of specific world days, as the World Water Day, World Environment Day, specific events as the discovery of new species in the Mediterranean, turtle release, festive days, as Christmas or during related educational and informational symposia, the Aquarium organizes various activities in hope to inspire all ages and seeking to raise awareness of issues concerning the healthy future of the marine environment.