The thing I love about aquariums is the feeling that you have stepped into another world. Surrounded by blue warmth, dazzling colours and rarely glimpsed creatures of the deep, there’s a magical sensation to being in a truly, well-designed aquarium. Fortunately, these days, on a global scale, there are a number of fantastic aquariums. In addition to the sheer enjoyment of entering one, they also offer interesting exhibits. Certainly, aquariums offer both young and old the opportunity to learn and be dazzled at the same time.
Here are some of my favourite aquariums from the many on offer in the world.
1. DUBAI MALL AQUARIUM, DUBAI.
Situated within one of the world’s greatest and most interesting shopping malls, perhaps a visitor to the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo may be forgiven for experiencing ‘sensation overload’. Of course, the spectacular display of wildlife includes an array of sharks, and to be precise, the largest collection in the world of Sand Tiger sharks. They are found here gliding silently through the blue. Sounds incredibly relaxing, but…. If that’s too serene for you, you also have the opportunity to cage dive and get real close to sharks. That surely makes it a fantastic aquarium to visit.
2. GEORGIA AQUARIUM, ATLANTA, USA.
One of the largest and best aquariums in the world, the Georgia Aquarium offers the visitor an impressive collection of specimens including whale sharks! Hard to believe, but they are domiciled here. Alongside the whale sharks, the aquarium boasts beluga whales, dolphins and many other sea creatures. Of course, perhaps the biggest attraction remains the largest fish in the world, and actually, to be precise, there are four whale sharks in the aquarium!
3. SHANGHAI OCEAN AQUARIUM, SHANGHAI, CHINA.
The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is easily one of the best aquariums in the world, and most-definitely one of the biggest. The range of species on offer is spectacular. The aquarium itself is organised into nine sections, all with a different focus and theme. Some of the wildlife here is extremely rare, and in addition to this, viewing is made a pleasure via an automatic, pedestrian tunnel. Seriously, the all-round views are wonderful. What’s more, there are four tunnels open to the visitor, through which you can explore this underwater world of colour and spectacle.
4. OKINAWA CHURAUMI AQUARIUM, OKINAWA, JAPAN.
As with the Georgia Aquarium, here you can find a number of whale sharks. This impressive aquarium is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the whole of Japan: more than 20 million people arrive here every year. It is unusual in that it is structured on four floors, and of course there are a wide variety of fish and sea life to be seen. This aquarium can also boast an impressive first: the experts here have been able to breed, for the first time in captivity, one of the largest species of mantra ray. Here you will also find the coral sea tank: a tank that has no roof which allows the wildlife to swim in natural light.
5. MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM, MONTERY, CALIFORNIA, USA.
It is hard not to feel nostalgic about the Monterey Bay Aquarium. For many young people, it was one of the first that encouraged a desire to travel to an aquarium, and mainly because of one reason: it was the first in the USA to try to put on display a Great White shark. In addition to this, the location of the aquarium is pretty scenic, as is the beautiful kelp forest. This aquarium just feels natural, welcoming and beautiful all at the same time.