Is there anybody who has not visited an aquarium yet? I’ll go for a negative response, because it is impossible for someone not to have had the opportunity to see even the smallest aquaria. Yet, if there really are persons who does not have any clue about what I am talking, this short article might widen their horizons.
An aquarium is a place of any size with at least one transparent part in which are kept fish and aquatic plants. They are desired to copy the natural environment so in the majority of the cases, they are built near the ocean so as to be next to the water supply. They differ in shape, form and the material that is used to make them, but we’re not talking about those small aquaria which can be kept in house. We’re dealing with the big ones that have millions of creatures and that are worth visiting. Have you ever gone to a planetarium? They’re some of a kind – a very big place with numerous aquaria in which fish are kept by species. The best aquaria in the world not only are fascinating because of their exciting and informative exhibits, but they also give the opportunity to learn about the mysteries beneath the ocean.
When it comes to creativity, over the years there have been build sumptuous aquariums that differ in size, form and diversity of creatures – they may be a huge vertical or horizontal building with numerous rooms and aquariums with different species or they can be designed as an underwater tunnel which is surrounded from all parts by water. Once you have visited even a single spectacular one, you’ll definitely know that the majority of aquaria in most cities fall short comparatively to it. While visiting these places you might feel like you have stepped into another world, mostly due to the enchanting atmosphere. One unique and impressive aquarium is The Aquadom, in Berlin, which has a cylindrical shape and an elevator that you can ride up through the centre so as to look out through the transparent walls.
Personally, I’ve been more impressed by the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium and I am longing to visit it very soon. In order to see the great diversity of species, including some endangered ones, you have to walk through the longest underwater tunnel of the planet. Just imagine for a moment – you and your mates are for the first time there and don’t have any clue about what would happen next. You see yourself surrounded by water and creatures such as fish, invertebrates, amphibians, turtles and even sharks. Practically you are walking on water, because the pathway is made from transparent glass, enabling you to visualize the creatures living their usual life as if no one would watch. It may be very scary when you see a fierce shark rushing into you, but you’ll soon realize that you are safe thanks to that very resistant glass that seems so thin. In the same time, you will discover that it is such a wonderful view, that you may forget about all your fears and let yourself be carried away by the fairy-like atmosphere. I am already dreaming with my eyes wide open at the feelings I would have and the tons of photos I would take – to be fair, I can’t live without immortalizing every moment of my life. I will spend neither more nor less than an entire day, admiring the show that sea-creatures are putting up and letting myself be taken in by each and every playful color I would cast my eyes on. As I have a keen observation and a particular liking for psychology, I would probably analyze every move of a shark or a dolphin and I would try to understand them and their behaviors, although I am quite aware of the fact that they are only animals with no judgment at all – it’s only the food chain.
Today’s aquarium tanks not only have the capacity of holding millions of liters of water, but they can also house large species, such as whales, sharks and dolphins. Comparatively to the first public aquariums, the modern ones include semi-aquatic animals and both land animals and plants. Moreover, for the sake of marketing, many aquaria promote special or seasonal exhibits, apart from their permanent collections. While some aquarium leaders are doing everything they can to attract more visitors in order to gain more money, others are doing their best to conserve and contemplate the beauty of the marine world.
Recently I have found out that most aquaria are run by marine ecologists who are working to preserve the aquatic creatures. Their aim is to keep the endangered species far from any dangers and in a very safe place, so as to save them from extinction. This may be the reason why in some aquariums there are many mini-aquaria in which are kept different species without being allowed to mix. Moreover, if there is any charge at the entrance, be sure that that money is invested in ecological actions with the main aim being the rescue of endangered species both of fish and aquatic plants.
To sum up, these world-class aquaria not only dispose of magnificent displays, but also offer a great lesson about the world beneath the water. Practically strolling between fish may be one of the most exciting way to learn about the underwater ecosystem and one of the most special occasion to contemplate the beauty of the nature.