Whales and sharks and stingrays – oh my! Georgia Aquarium, located in Atlanta, Georgia is brimming with exotic and endangered species.
At the heart of Atlanta one will find one of the world’s largest aquariums, with eight million gallons of fresh and marine water, and more than 100,000 animals representing 500 species from around the globe.
“I don’t care how many times I go there, I am still in awe of the variety and spectacle of all these fish in this habitat,” said Georgia Aquarium benefactor, Bernie Marcus. “It is a wonderful experience for all of us.”
The six distinct galleries and more than 60 exhibits within Georgia Aquarium represent different aquatic habitats, ranging from arctic to tropical waters, and feature an expansive collection of aquatic animals.
“Ocean Voyager,” one of the six galleries featured in the aquarium, is the world’s largest indoor aquatic exhibit, and contains 6.3 million gallons of water. “Ocean Voyager” contains four whale sharks, which are the largest fish in the world. The exhibit also contains four manta rays, which are the only manta rays contained in a U.S. aquarium.
“It’s mind-blowing to watch the way the way sharks live,” said Adonis Salcedo, junior. “There’s so much we don’t know about the ocean, so to see all of these creatures living together in one tank is amazing.”
“Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest,” the second largest exhibit in the aquarium, features animals ranging from the Polar Regions to the temperate seas of California, South Africa and Southern Australia. “Cold Water Quest” features beluga whales, southern sea otters, African penguins and harbor seals. The exhibit is also home to Georgia Aquarium’s mascot, Deepo the Garibaldi damselfish.
Georgia Aquarium is home to a 164,000-gallon reef habitat, the second largest in the United States, which also contains more than 90 species of fish. The aquarium’s newest exhibit, “AT&T Dolphin Tales,” allows visitors to watch a live dolphin show featuring live human actors, a brilliant array of musical numbers and spectacular special effects.
“This gift to Atlanta has brought the ocean to the city and the aquatic world to so many who may never have experienced it,” said Georgia Aquarium chairman and CEO, Mike Leven. “We’ve been able to do cutting-edge research and educate and entertain millions of guests on our oceans.”
Though the museum is a newer addition to Atlanta’s spectacles, 3.6 million guests visited the aquarium in the first year. Guests from six continents, all 50 states and 143 countries have visited the aquarium, and to date, more than 20 million guests have visited Georgia Aquarium.
Georgia Aquarium is open 365 days a year – even on holidays – making it the perfect vacation destination. Located at 225 Baker St. NW Atlanta, GA 30313, one should visit their website, www.georgiaaquarium.org for more information.