To explore the world of the organisms living inside water, you should pay Tennessee Aquarium a visit. Found in Chattanooga TN, this non-profit aquarium is open to everyone that wants to learn about life inside water. Although this Chattanooga attraction began operation in 1992, it was expanded in 2005 to bring in more animals for people to see. Currently, there are over 12,000 animals from 800 different species; hence, you will have a filled day when viewing the animals at this aquarium.
Being one of the most popular Chattanooga attractions, this aquarium has welcomed over 20 million individuals and more people are still willing to come into the city to see what it has to offer. Known as one of the topmost public aquariums in the United States of America, the Tennessee Aquarium has two buildings that are dedicated to showcasing its exhibits.
The first building is called River Journey and it started exhibiting animals in 1992. It features an area of about 130,000 square feet, which is just like a 12-story structure. It is filled with over 1,500,000 liters of fresh water. At the time of its opening, there was no freshwater aquarium that was as big as River Journey. An exhibit of this magnificent facility is known as The Appalachian Cove Forest which contains animals such as river otters, shiners, hog suckers, trout, daces, redhorse, and darters. This exhibit also features songbirds from North America and an artificial waterfall that has continued to catch the attention of the visitors.
Another exhibit, Delta Country, is mainly dedicated to housing animals that were gotten from the Mississippi River delta. These animals include American alligators and turtles. Other exhibits at the River Journey facility include River Giants, Rivers of the World, and the Tennessee River gallery. Inside these exhibits, you will find animals such as giant pangasius, seahorses, giant freshwater stingray, electric eel, channel catfish, frogs, alligator gar, turtles, American paddlefish, redtail catfish, arapaima, and several other marines and aquatic animals.
The Ocean Journey is the other large facility at the Tennessee Aquarium. It is a 60,000 square foot building that has as much as 2,600,000 liters of water. One of the most visited exhibits inside the Ocean Journey is the Secret Reef which is the home to several green sea turtles, sand tiger sharks, and bonnethead sharks.
Other main exhibits that are found inside the Ocean Journey include the Boneless Beauties and Jellies and the Penguins’ Rock. Gentoo penguins, macaroni penguins, cuttlefish, corals, Japanese spider crabs, jellyfish, and giant Pacific octopuses are the major marine and aquatic organisms inside these exhibits.
During your tour of this aquarium, don’t forget to visit Island Life which was added recently. If you are coming with kids, let them play around the life-sized Galapagos Tortoise sculpture or run around the clownfish-like model found in the aquarium. Furthermore, go to the River Gorge Explorer to take a boat ride around the Tennessee River Gorge. There is also an IMAX 3D theater nearby. Along with all these activities, make sure that you learn more about aquatic and marine life.