The Atlanta Aquarium
The Atlanta Aquarium
Aquariums, which some call “the new zoos” are today’s hottest lure. This is specifically true in Atlanta as the titanic aquarium was opened just recently for the people to see and enjoy. The Atlanta aquarium was actually opened to create some kind of magnet that will generate other kinds of activity in the city. It was developed as part of an effort by the city to entice people to their central downtowns by creating entertainment zones, and they fortunately succeeded in doing so.
The original idea for opening the Atlanta aquarium, also known as Georgia Aquarium, comes from Bernie Marcus when he announced in November 2001 his plans to donate funds to build an aquarium in downtown Atlanta. From that idea, the Atlanta Aquarium was built in half-million square foot facility housing, with more than 100,000 animals in 8 million gallons of fresh and salt water. From the groundbreaking to the opening, it was noted that the construction process took only 27 months. And, today, the Atlanta aquarium sits on 9 ½ acres of land adjacent to the Centennial Olympic Park in the downtown area.
As you may have noticed on your visit to the aquarium, the exterior of the building was specifically designed to look like a giant ship breaking through a wave. As the visitors forward to the large atrium which is located inside the building, they will be led into the facility by “a wall of fish” guiding them inside. Aside from this, they have given choices of entering five main galleries; each is easily determined by an icon and signage at the entrance.
Here are the five main galleries inside the Atlanta Aquarium:
• Georgia Explorer – is identified by a light house.
• River Scout – displays a cascading waterfall.
• Cold Water Quest – has ice covered stuff.
• Ocean Voyager – offers a peek window into the huge habitat.
• Tropical Diver – has two video screens presenting the perspective of a fish on a reef.
At these galleries, the guests are allowed to enter and then return to the main atrium prior to heading to the next gallery.
In the Atlanta aquarium, there are about 60 habitats with 12,000 square feet of viewing windows. It is specifically given that the acrylic used in the windows weighs a total of 328 tons. The largest of the habitats carries 6.2 million gallons of water and measures 263’ long x 126’ wide x 33’ deep, at its largest points. Also interesting to know about the Atlanta aquarium’s largest habitat is that it was specially designed to accommodate whale sharks along side ten of thousands of other animals that commonly thrive along a coral reef and out to the open ocean.
The Atlanta aquarium further boasts a 100 foot long tunnel and one of the largest aquarium windows in the world with views into whale shark habitat. The second of the largest habitat in the Atlanta aquarium holds 800,000 gallons of water, and it was specially developed to simulate the natural habitat of beluga whales.
With more than 8 million gallons of fresh and salt water and 100,000 animals representing 500 species from around the globe, it’s no wonder that the Atlanta Aquarium which was opened on November 23, 2005 is now considered as the world’s largest aquarium. At this spot, you’re sure to see things you’ve never seen before.