This aquarium is large and has much to look at, but is also a little too Disney-esque for me. Yes, yes, I know..children are the life-blood of aquariums, zoos, and any other place where there are animals to be seen. They have to be kid-friendly, or families just won't come. But I could really do without the loud music, flashing fluorescent lights, and announcers on loud speakers. The main hall is like a movie theater, casino, and kid's museum all rolled into one. That's not to say that the place wasn't impressive in other respects, though-- it's reportedly the largest aquarium in the world in terms of sheer gallonage: "more than 8.5 million gallons of marine and fresh water housing more than 100,000 animals of 500 different species."
The majority of that is in their 6.3 million gallon salt water tank, which houses four whale sharks and four manta rays along with hammerheads, tiger sharks, and all kinds of other fish.
|Giving TV a run for its money|
Highlights for me included a big tank of cichlids from Lake Malawi in African Great Rift Valley, beautiful and colorful and numerous, and a tank containing weedy sea dragons, a relative of seahorses native to the southern coast of Australia who, like their cousin the leafy sea dragon in my profile photo, are classified as "near threatened." The Dallas World Aquarium has a few of the leafy variety, which is how I discovered them and later found out that they have their own festival in South Australia. How cool is that?