Although it has suffered setbacks, the world’s largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium, continues to delight and educate the public about our creatures from the sea.
Imagine walking through a tunnel surrounded by nearly 100,000 fish above and all around you, or maybe you would like to see the only whale sharks in captivity outside of Asia? That’s just a couple of the many exhibits within the world’s largest aquarium located in the heart of downtown Atlanta.
The Georgia Aquarium, which opened in 2005, has over 500 species in over 8 million gallons of water. It has been a very popular venue for the city of Atlanta, with millions of visitors since it opened. Sadly, however, the aquarium has suffered two heartbreaking and public losses since it opened. Gasper, a beluga whale, and Ralph, a whale shark, both lost their lives in early 2007.
Although these losses have been tragic, the Georgia Aquarium aspires to continue to intrigue and educate each person that walks through its doors. Whale sharks, which are the world’s largest fish, can be found in the Ocean Voyager Exhibit. Even though this fish can grow up to 66 feet, the whale shark is considered harmless to humans.
The Ocean Voyager exhibit has over 4,500 square feet of viewing windows and offers a perfect spot to observe fish of all sizes. Watching the world’s largest fish, as well as other smaller fish, float right in front of you has to be the next best thing to strapping on a tank and diving into the ocean.
Another popular exhibit is the Cold Water Quest. Here you can visit penguins, sea otters, sea lions, and beluga whales. Also known as white whales, the beluga whales are very social mammals and often put on quite a show for the visitors. These whales not only have the ability to swim backward, but they are also the only known whales with a flexible neck.
Other exhibits include the River Scout gallery, where animals found in rivers from around the world can be studied and admired. The Georgia Explorer gallery highlights animals located in and around Georgia, including Right Whales that are found off the coast. Each exhibit is intended to entertain obviously, but to also teach the public about aquatic life.
The Georgia Aquarium is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Sunday through Thursday, and 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Friday and Saturday.
There are extended holiday hours available at certain times of the year, so check with the aquarium for specific times. General admission tickets are available for the following approximate prices:
Children (ages 3-12) $18.00
Seniors (ages 55+) $20.00.
Tickets can be bought online at
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