Monday, October 10, 2011

Coolest Aquariums Around the World

Since man cannot breathe underwater without significant preparation and mechanical help, humans have always held a type of fascination with the realm below the waves. Before advances in our study of the seas and technologies that helped us to get a better look at things underneath the water, many cultures thought of the oceans as their own supernatural world with magical beings and monsters waiting beneath the surface. Modern man knows that the strange, alien-like creatures of the world’s oceans are not mystical entities but just special creatures of evolution, and we analyze these animals through the scientific process to further our own knowledge of the world that we live in and to see if we can derive any special information or benefits from the oddities under the water. Yet, not everyone on the planet has the training or the money for specialist equipment to travel deep beneath the surface of these massive bodies of water to see aquatic creatures up close and personal. In order to let the average citizen enjoy the beauty and mystery of these creatures and to help increase their own base knowledge, institutions have been established that bring aquatic beings inland. Aquariums that house many different varieties of water based life forms have been built around the world. Here is a look at some of the coolest and best of these man made water environments that have gone the extra mile to make their aquarium super special for its visitors.
AquaDom Radisson Hotel Aquarium (Berlin, Germany)
Most people do not expect to see a world renowned aquarium in something as mundane as a Radisson Hotel. However, that is precisely the case at one of the Radissons in Berlin, Germany. The AquaDom is the largest cylindrical aquarium in the world, measuring twenty five meters high and containing 260,000 gallons of water which holds a total of just over 2,500 fish from 56 different species. The elevator at this hotel is encapsulated by this enormous aquarium which makes a ride to any level a special experience where you are surrounded by water and beautiful aquatic life. Several of the more expensive rooms at the hotel give up close, picturesque views of the tank as well as certain tables at the restaurant located at the top of the aquarium.
uShaka Marine World (Durban, South Africa)
Situated between the harbor and beach of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa is the largest aquarium on the entire continent of Africa even though it is only the fifth largest in the entire world with its thirty two tanks of water that hold all variety of marine life to give its patrons an in depth look at the world beneath the waves. The design of this aquarium draws a great deal of attention as it is modeled to look like a old, rusted ship wreck which visitors walk through to explore many species of fish, marine mammals, and other water based creatures. What is truly special is the fact that it doubles as a water theme park in addition to its aquarium aspect to make sure all patrons are thoroughly entertained.
Dubai Aquarium (Dubai)
The Dubai Mall is another oddity in its possession of a world class aquarium. In 2008, the Dubai Aquarium actually broke a Guinness World Record for one of its main features—the world’s largest acrylic panel. The engineering wonders of this aquarium does not stop with the paneling that truly gets visitors up close and personal with the collection of over 33,000 marine creatures as the building itself is composed of many glass tunnels that run throughout the three level high structure which could easily cover fifty soccer fields.
Aquarium of the Smokies (Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA)
Nestled in the imposing green beauty of the Smokey Mountain National Park is a rather unique aquarium. It is owned and operated by the same people who control the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museums. The Aquarium of the Smokies showcases various aspects of water life with the recreation of natural habitats for the benefits of the creatures and the visitors—such as the lush, tropic rainforest that houses water animals from the Amazon River and the hand crafted coral reef for their collection of Indo-Pacific marine life. Their popular Shark Lagoon is special in how it takes the idea of a tunnel through the marine environment and expands on it by placing a moving walkway down the center so that guests are carried through the clear blue water that houses several shark species..
Churaumi Aquarium (Motobu, Japan)
The world’s second largest aquarium can actually be found in Motobu of Okinawa, Japan with a massive showcase tank called the “Kuroshio Sea” that holds nearly two million gallons of water. The naming of this massive marine environment is one of its most special characteristics though as it was put to public vote of the nearby population. Roughly 13,000 votes in favor of Churaumi made it the winner which breaks down in the Okinawan dialect as “Chura” for beautiful or graceful and “Umi” meaning ocean. This aquarium is also known for its breeding program—particularly of manta rays as several have been bred and born in this safe setting since 2007.
Georgia Aquarium (Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
The current largest aquarium in the world though is the Georgia Aquarium located in Atlanta, Georgia. Their collection of water life forms is positively staggering as they have over 100,000 animals from roughly 500 different species. The star attractions of the Aquarium include the whale sharks and beluga whales for their sheer size in comparison to the animals housed in other water containers around the world. The basic numbers on this massive collection of tanks are enough to make your head spin. The Georgia Aquarium has a marine fresh water capacity of 8.1 million gallons!
Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
The largest aquarium in the country of Canada can be found in Vancouver, British Columbia. This huge marine environment is big in actual size in addition to variety of animals. From 300 different species of fish, the Vancouver Aquarium holds about 33,700 fish beings. It also houses 30,000 invertebrate water creatures and 350 animals that fall under the categories of snakes, newts, and frogs. To take this aquarium to the next level, the proponents of the institution have reached out to include 21 species of birds and several types of mammals (primarily marine animals of course) in their extensive containers and habitats for all visitors to truly enjoy and see how much the world’s oceans invade the lives of land
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