Water and the creatures that live within hold a strange fascination for all. For those not adventurous enough to go deep sea diving, or snorkelling, or scuba diving, the best way to view a part of the mysterious underwater world is by visiting some of the best and largest aquariums in the world. These places offer several opportunities to learn about our oceans and the world in them, and in addition, the beauty and mystique of these exciting aquariums transport their visitors to the underwater dimension. If you are curious to learn more about these exhilarating places, read on – our list of world’s biggest and best aquariums.
- The largest aquarium in the world today is the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. It opened in 2005 and has several interesting aspects to its credit. Most importantly is the 6.3 million gallon tank that houses the Ocean Voyager exhibit, and the other is the portion dedicated to whale sharks – the only aquarium outside of Asia, to house this species of sharks.
- Not only is The Dubai Mall the largest shopping complex in the world today, it also houses one of the world’s largest aquariums. The aquarium has a 2.64million gallon tank, which holds more than 33,000 species of marine life – including 400 sharks and stingrays. The aquarium now holds the record for containing the world’s largest acrylic glass panel – ensuring that visitors get a better and wider view of the beautiful creatures.
- Opened in 2002 the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is at the Ocean Expo Park, Japan. Its most famous exhibit is the Kuroshio Sea – a tank containing 2 million gallons of water, and an acrylic glass panel (second only to the one at the Dubai aquarium), and its most famed creatures are the whale sharks and Manta rays. This is one of the few aquariums housing whale sharks – they need a large amount of space to thrive. Does this give you an idea of the size and expanse of this aquarium?
- Located in Durban, South Africa is a theme Park – The uShaka Marine World. This houses the largest aquarium in the continent, and contains around 32 tanks. The vast variety, of sea creatures found here is incredible – small sea horses, sharks, dolphins, and several more. The aquarium resembles an old wreck (for effect) and as a large number of cafes and restaurants, and the most noteworthy one is “The Cargo Hold”. The reason for its fame is the full wall sized aquarium containing a number of sharks, which are visible to visitors from the dining area.
- Turkey’s first gigantic aquarium Turkuazoo,opened in 2009 and comprises a flooded forest, rainforest, and tropical seas zone. This aquarium is inside the Forum Istanbul Shopping Mall, and the most fascinating feature is the 80-metre long underwater tunnel, which affords visitors the feeling of being surrounded by water.Turkuazoo houses 10,000 marine creatures including giant stingrays, piranhas, and tiger sharks across 29 exhibits, with the largest one holding 5 million litres of water.
- Located inside the City of Arts and Sciences, at Valencia Spain, is the L’Oceanogràfic – an astounding marine complex, housing a variety of marine habitats. This aquarium houses the largest tank in Europe, with more than 45000 creatures from the ocean. There are nine under water towers, on two levels representing a variety of underwater ecology. Two of the underwater towers are connected by a 35-meter long tunnel and contain 7 million litres of water and brimming with sharks and different kinds of rays.
- Opened in 1981 the National Aquarium in Baltimore receives around 1.5 million visitors each year. The roof holds a rainforest, while the aquarium holds around 1 million gallons of water, home to 16500 creatures representing 660 species.
- Located inside the atrium of the Radisson Hotel in Berlin, stands the impressive, distinctive, and awe-inspiring aquarium – The Aquadom. It is a cylindrical aquarium – 25 metres high and 11 metres in diameter, and containing 1 million litres of water. Around 2600 species live within its transparent walls, and an elevator gets you through the centre of the cylinder.
- The Monterey Bay Aquarium in California is dedicated to marine research. It is famous for being the first aquarium to have successfully kept the great white shark – rearing this beautiful and deadly creature in captivity. It is also one of the few aquariums to house the ocean sunfish.
- The Aquarium of Genoa, Genoa, Italy is the largest in Italy, and one of the largest in Europe. It houses more than 6000 marine creatures of about 500 species, and these are exhibited in 70 tanks across the aquarium.
Our list may have stoked your interest, but only a visit to the massive and ‘larger than life’ water homes can do justice to their sheer magnificence and beauty. If you have ever visited a small aquarium and felt a sense of exhilaration and mystique, you should multiply that feeling an infinite number of times to know how you would feel when you do visit any of these humongous aquariums. Not only are magnificent water homes great exhibits for marine creatures, they also teach the visitors a lot about the underwater ecology and ecosystems. Marine scientists, several of whom are involved in critical conservation efforts, to keep the exotic and necessary marine life well and thriving, manage these aquariums. The entry fee goes towards maintaining these beautiful creatures, and gives them a chance at survival in a rapidly changing world in which their natural habitats are being destroyed. Connect with us to visit these places to have some of the best and most exhilarating experiences ever in your life.