THE GEORGIA AQUARIUM - Views Magazine

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THE GEORGIA AQUARIUM - Views Magazine

to what's in store inside with it'sunique facade. There are approximatelyeight million gallons of waterwithin the Aquarium, housing100,000 fish in a 550,000 sq ft facility,comprising some 500 species fromaround the world! The GeorgiaAquarium is divided up into distinctivelydifferent viewing areas, eachwith their own unique collection ofanimals & fish, and given appropriatenames for their section. Music plays avery important in each area, adding tothe overall sensory experience.Among the most notable exhibitsare the five beluga whales, two ofwhich were rescued from an amusementpark in Mexico where theirhealth was in jeopardy. These fivewhite whales first appear as ghostlyfigures in their own expansive space,(an 800,000 gallon habitat) mesmerizingviewers with their grace andhauntingly, beautiful underwaterdances that appear as if choreographed.With viewing areas on thefloor and above like a two story theater,one is efficaciously drawn to witnessthese rarely seen creatures performtheir distinctive interactivemovements. Within each viewing areain the Aquarium there are educationalscreens and ongoing video presentationsto teach and enlighten theviewer. This particular viewing area iscalled 'Cold Water Quest, housingother cold ocean water species as well.In the 'Ocean Voyager' viewingarea awaits the grand spectacle of thetwo whale sharks, 'Ralph' and'Norton.' At a little under 20 feetlong at present, (they will double insize over the years) they commandyour attention in a tank that is 100yards wide and 40 yards deep, containingover 6,000,000 gallons ofwater, showcasing the world's secondlargest sheet of acrylic, (63 ft wide x28 ft high, and 2 feet thick) for anunparalleled view of these giants. Tosimulate ocean conditions, there isroughly 2,000,000 lbs of salt in thistank alone! This view is so stunningthat many linger, sitting on the cascadeof stairs as if transfixed in anunderwater theater, lost in the greatnessof what they see before them.The tank also includes some 80,000other fish which only enhance theview and give a very real perspectiveon the size of these two gentle giants.No other aquarium in the UnitedStates has ever managed the varietyand size of fish in this exhibit.The 'River Scout' viewing area isdedicated to the fresh water specieswhich inhabit rivers in Africa, Asia,South America as well as nativeGeorgia. First time visitors beware!The carnivorous Piranhas are containedin this exhibit. The emphasishere, besides the unique collection ofS P R I N G 2 0 0 6 1 3

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