South Africa's home to one of the biggest aquariums in the world

From the USA to Japan, explore the deep at five of the globe's largest aquariums

11 May 2018 - 00:00 By AFP Relaxnews
Dubai Aquarium is located on the third floor of Dubai Mall.
Dubai Aquarium is located on the third floor of Dubai Mall.
Image: GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

1. DUBAI AQUARIUM AND UNDERWATER ZOO, UAE

This is without a doubt one of the world's most famous aquariums due to its location on the third floor of the gigantic Dubai Mall. It is home to some 33,000 aquatic creatures of 140 species.

The impressive 48-meter-long underwater tunnel gives visitors the sensation of strolling along the ocean floor. More adventurous visitors can even meet the aquarium's sharks up-close thanks to a secure diving cage and special equipment. 

2. GEORGIA AQUARIUM, USA

The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is a haven for lovers of the sea with some 120,000 animals, including manta rays. Here, species are grouped by continent to improve understanding of their origins.

The aquarium also offers visitors the chance to swim with whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea, with all the necessary equipment provided. Visitors can even meet the aquarium's beluga whales, these famous white whales that look like dolphins and which live in the Arctic Ocean.

Finally, with a virtual reality attraction, visitors can get up close to prehistoric species that once inhabited the oceans. 

3. USHAKA SEA WORLD, SOUTH AFRICA

Durban lays claim to being the home of Africa's largest aquarium: uShaka Sea World, which is part of the uShaka Marine World complex.

At the specially designed Sea Animal Encounters Island, visitors can dive safely with sharks, meet dolphins or dive into the ray tank to feed them. There are also shows with dolphins and seals. 

4. SHANGHAI OCEAN AQUARIUM, CHINA

The four tunnels at Shanghai aquarium are its star attraction. No other aquarium in the world has this kind of infrastructure, offering views of up to 270° in places.

The Shanghai Aquarium takes visitors through four underwater tunnels.
The Shanghai Aquarium takes visitors through four underwater tunnels.
Image: LIU JIN / AFP

This marine world is home to more than 15,000 animals of some 400 species. The aquarium takes visitors across the world's continents, exploring the sea species native to each. 

5. OKINAWA CHURAUMI AQUARIUM, JAPAN

For travelers heading off the beaten track to Japan's Okinawa archipelago, don't miss a trip to Churaumi.

Located in Motobu Park, in the Ocean Expo Park built for the 1975 World's Fair, it is the world's second-biggest aquarium.

This 19,000m2 attraction is home to fish and aquatic mammals, including manta rays. A 22-meter viewing window is one of the aquarium's most impressive features, allowing visitors to marvel at the size of species such as whale sharks. 


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