Monday, August 7, 2017
The moment I saw Atlanta on the SUSI schedule, I wanted to visit Georgia Aquarium. Had learnt long ago from one of my cousins that it is home to more than tens of thousands of sea creatures in about ten million gallons of water.
As a part of Educational study tour, SUSI scholars were taken to Atlanta to visit CNN , World of Coca Cola, Jimmy Carter Library and Museum and Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site. Scholars were also taken to the famous Sun Dial restaurant for dinner but Georgia aquarium visit was not mentioned. I had thought that I will visit the aquarium during free time. On 27th of July when Prof Yusuf asked if the group was interested to go to the aquarium or not, I seemed to be the only one who was interested and happy too. While others wanted to go shopping, I was all set to see this world class aquarium. Slowly, the number of people who wanted to visit the aquarium raised to nine.
Located in downtown Atlanta across Centennial Olympic Park and the World of Coca Cola, we walked across the street and purchased tickets. As we got in, we saw a number of exhibits such as Cold Water Quest, Ocean Voyager, River Scout, Aquanaut Adventure and Tropical Diver. It had more than 60 habitats and as informed by one of the workers, it included more than 500 species from around the world. He also informed that “ the largest exhibit at Georgia aquarium, Ocean Voyager gallery measures 284 feet long, 126 feet wide and 30 feet deep and holds about 6.3 million gallons of water and the second largest exhibit holds around 800000 gallons of water”. These exhibits are home to four beluga whales, four whale sharks, four manta rays , predatory trevally jacks, squadrons of small and large stingrays, enormous goliath grouper and several other fish which the visitors can witness through the acrylic tunnel. One can see all types of marine life on all sides of this viewing window. For the first time I felt that I should learn swimming to swim with them as people had an opportunity to do so.
The main attraction was the dolphin show and the sea lion show. Simply amazing. An expansive underwater dolphin and sea otter viewing window allowed me to capture the moments. Penguins,3D jelly fish, zebra snake and lion fish were among the other attractions. For the penguins, there were almost 25 nesting areas with a wonderful lighting area. Pop up window allowed me to watch their activities.
And then comes the tropical diver that is arranged like a gallery of living art and the tropical coral reefs can be seen where garden eels pop out of sand. From corals to mesmerizing jelly fish to butterflyfish to zebra moray eels to sea horses, sea lion fish, coral reef fish and yellow headed jaw fish are the main attractions.
It is undoubetedly by far the best Aquarium I have ever seen or been too! The experience was incredible! The memories will never leave me! Kudos to the managing department for doing what you do for the animals and the education! Visitors and SUSI scholars this is a must do if you come to Georgia. Hope to make another visit very soon with the kids… I know they will love it too.