Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 56: Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium is right next to the World of Coca Cola. There was nowhere else to get any food nearby, so we decided to go to the aquarium as something to do and a place to get lunch on July 14, 2009. The aquarium sure makes itself seem amazing boasting about it having the largest aquarium in the world, but it is actually not that impressive. Sure it has the large aquarium and was fun to see, but I think there is more to see overall at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

The first exhibit we went into was Ocean Voyager. This exhibit is of what I think they said was the largest aquarium environment in the world or something like that. Anyways it does not end up looking all that big because the viewing windows are mostly only enough for a few people to look through at a time, although there is also a tunnel view and one large viewing room. It may not end up seeming that big, but it certainly is pretty big because they have several tiger sharks in there. The aquarium also is the home to the only manta ray in a U.S. aquarium. It was interesting to stand an watch the various aquatic life swim by the large viewing wndow, but a lot of the small windows were horrible because it blocked the view of the aquarium as a whole and just showed an area mostly isolated by artificial settings that did not even have much in terms of little fish around it.

The second area we saw was Cold Water Quest. This area has animals that from cold ocean habitats. One of my favorite things in the whole aquarium was in this area. That was the seadragons. They are so fun to watch, especially the ones that look so much like kelp. This area also has belugas, an octopus, spider crabs, and a preserved specimen of a giant squid. They have penguins here, but you can currently only see them on a behind the scene tour, which we did not realize until too late to see them. Anyways it is not like I have not seen the African penguins in their native habitat.

The third area we explored was the Tropical Diver exhibit. This exhibit includes species native to tropical coral reefs. One of the interesting animals was the jellyfish, especially the transparent moon jellyfish that were illuminated with different colored lights. The garden eels were also interesting to watch pop up in the sand. There is also a large viewing window type display for this area. Other species on display included sea horses and clownfish.

The final exhibit we saw was Georgia Explorer. This exhibit contains aquatic life native to Georgia. They have loggerhead turtles and a touch station in here. They also have a display on a fish once thought to be extinct.

Overall it was not that bad of place to kill a few hours, but it was an extremely expensive place to go and see everything in less than two hours. It really is not worth its crazy admission price. It might have been better if it was not so crowded, but then again it might have been a faster trip if we were not slowed down by the crowds trying to see the different things.

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