DOES SIZE ”really” MATTER?
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If public aquariums are important in educating the public in marine environments, then tank size counts. The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, U.S.A., has the largest in the world with a tank that is hour- glass in shape, designed to allow their whale sharks to turn around at each end.
Not all aquarium tanks are shaped the same. The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto will have a shark tunnel when it opens. For its sharks and manta rays L’Oceanagraphic in Valencia, Spain, has a tunnel that is 35 meters long connecting two underwater towers with 1,85 million gallons of water. Turkey’s Turkuazoo has a tunnel 80 meters long with its largest exhibit holding 5 million liters, or 1,32 million gallons of water.
I thought it might be interesting to try to list the 10 largest public aquarium tanks in the world. Using Wikipedia and the list provided by Touropia.com including a number of its visitor comments with their suggested corrections to the list, I can see there are many important distinctions that need to be taken into account.
The size of the aquarium’s tank can be measured in gallons of water – U.S. gallons or Imperial gallons, cubic ft. or metric volume. Often there are several tanks in each aquarium and their combined volume of water is used to determine its standing. Sometimes, the size of the viewing window is the measure. In all circumstances it’s safe to say that the aquariums showing sharks and manta rays are some of the largest simply because these aquatic creatures are the biggest and largest in scale.
Here is an example. The Georgia Aquarium is commonly known as being the world’s largest aquarium. However, according to Wikipedia,
“Georgia Aquarium (redirect from World‘s largest aquarium) it was the world‘s largest aquarium when it opened in 2005. Businessman Bernard …its tanks hold 8million USgal. | 30,000 m3 of fresh and salt water. …”
and the Dubai Mall with its famous aquarium is listed as number two in the world, holding over 400 hundred sharks and rays combined.
“The Marine Life Park located within Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore is the world’s largest oceanarium, with over 100,000 animals of more than 800 species in 45,000,000 l (9,900,000 imp gal; 12,000,000 US gal) of water.”
In 2010, Touropia listed the top ten largest aquariums in the world on its site. Visit it here http://www.touropia.com/largest-aquariums-in-the-world/ and view their amazing images. Notice the flow of readers comments with their suggested corrections to the Touropia list of top ten aquariums.
António Castanheira January 24, 2011 at 5:01 am ·
Nº 5 in this list should be the Lisbon Aquarium – 1.35 million gallons of water.
What’s on your list that counts? Does size really matter?
Click the reply button at the top right of this post. Comment and share your points of view. Guess how long Toronto’s shark tunnel will be in Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada?