The story appears on

Page C5

November 20, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature

Swimming with sharks (sort of)

SHANGHAI Ocean Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in Asia and has the world's longest and most spectacular underwater viewing tunnel, 168 meters in length with a 180-degree overhead dome view.

You can see hundreds of sharks swimming right above your head and thousands of other fish and amphibians.

The aquarium itself covers more than 13,000 square meters on a 20,000 square-meter site next to the Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Lujiazui in Pudong.

The aquarium is divided into nine thematic zones and displays more than 14,000 creatures of 450 species from around the world. It also includes river fish and some rare Chinese species such as the giant salamander and the Yangtze River crocodile.

The overall theme is "Experience the wonders of the five continents at the bottom of the sea."

It features eight areas: Asia, South America (the Amazon River), Australia, Africa, cold water, polar area, sea water and deep ocean. Each zone recreates natural surroundings and enables visitors to appreciate the uniqueness of the regions.

A round-the-world underwater journey starts from the Yangtze River in China.

It continues to the Amazon Basin and flooded forests of South America. Visitors will see mangroves and billabongs of Australia and great rivers of Africa (Nile, Congo), the rainforests of Southeast Asia.

The next stage goes from sandy shores to the depths of the ocean.

Denizens include Chinese sturgeons, giant salamanders, electric eels, spotted seals, leafy and weedy sea dragons, jellyfish, sand tiger sharks, among others.

Each section is meticulously constructed and the air and water are carefully controlled.

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is the only aquatic museum with a large display of China's aquatic animals, especially rare and endangered species in the Yangtze River.

The Antarctic Emperor Penguin, the world's largest, is displayed in a "natural" habitat.

Exhibits include the spectacularly colored poison-dart frogs, and some secrete deadly toxins used by indigenous peoples in South America for their poison darts.

They also display many kinds of jellyfish, some poisonous "men of war," so-called because of their helmet shape. Some jellyfish can be used to help predict typhoons.

There are enormous sunfish, the world's heaviest bony fish, sometimes weighing 1,000 kilograms.

The leafy sea dragon or water dragon comes from coastal waters in South Australia. It is related to the sea horse but resembles the legendary dragon and reaches 20-24 centimeters. It has beautiful waving appendages or leaves on its body.

The halls are designed to introduce the geography and cultural environment of the seven continents and four oceans.

The centerpiece is the enormous US$6.6-million glass-surround observation tunnel, stretching 168 meters, the world's longest, where you can see all manner of marine life.

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium integrates tourism and commerce with scientific study and environmental awareness of the need to protect oceans and rivers.

A tour takes a few hours. It can be combined with other scenic attractions. Nearby is the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Aquarium visitors can also take nearby Metro Line 2, four stops to Century Park or three stops to Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend