19 February 2011

GSU's Night at the [Georgia] Aquarium

GSU had their annual "Night at the Aquarium." I've been to the Aquarium several times since it opened in November 2005. When I was a little girl, I wanted nothing more than to become a marine biologist. Well, for many, many reasons, that dream went away as I got older, but whenever people ask me if I could do any career in the world with no limitations, what would it be, the answer is almost always to be a marine biologist (or maybe an underwater/nature photographer for NatGeo or the Discovery channel?). So, needless to say, I have been gifted tickets to the Aquarium on three occasions, been on one first date there, been with boyfriend twice, and even been on the Behind the Scenes tour (it's actually kind of really cool). And, if it wasn't almost ~$20,000 to get married there, I would totally get married there. It's changed a lot in the past five years. For those of you who have never visited, here are some fun facts about the Georgia Aquarium:
  • It is currently the largest aquarium in the world.
  • It has the largest collection of aquatic animals.
  • The whale shark habitat alone has 6.3 million gallons of water and it is the largest single aquarium habitat in the world.
  • The aquarium was a gift to Atlanta from the co-founder of The Home Depot.
  • They host sleepovers.
  • Animals: grouper, tarpon, sawfish, blacktip reef sharks (!), giant hammerhead sharks (!!), wobbegong sharks (!), whale sharks (!!), zebra sharks (!), beluga whales, piranhas, sea otters, river otters, the only aquarium to have manta rays, jelly fish, seahorses, penguins, and dolphins (as of April 2011). -- I really like sharks =)
  • Almost a billion dollars has been brought into the city of Atlanta in the past 5 years.
  • You can dive or swim (for a fee obviously) with all the animals in the large habitat (including the whale shark, the manta rays, and, my favorite, the hammerhead sharks!). Guess what, they do it every single day and no one has ever been attacked, so no worries!
  • Speaking of diving, if you are planning on advancing your diving experience (like I am), the aquarium offers a diver certification that you cannot get any where else in the world: the PADI Whale Shark Distinctive Specialty.
Enough words, here are pictures from yesterday. Have a great rest of the weekend!


Before:
Picture with GSU's mascot, Pounce the Panther:

Manta Ray:
A view of the largest animal habitat in the world

(see Whale Shark here):

We had a staring contest:

Another Ray:

You could touch these fun creatures &
they would touch you back!:



Ever wanted to see a piranha?
Well now you can!
Did you know their sharp teeth are CLEAR?
I just learned that yesterday =) :
Did you know there were such a thing as
albino alligators?:





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