I’d heard that Georgia Aquarium was supposed to be a great attraction and that I should definitely visit. When I was planning the trip I hadn’t really given it much thought though I do like aquariums; they’re peaceful, calming, and are almost like windows into an alien world.
I arrived not long after opening, going to beat the crowds. The aquarium is divided into ecosystems such oceans, rivers, reefs, etc.
The river enclosure featured a lot of local fish but also a while host of reptiles and amphibians – including a pair of albino alligators.
It took me a while to realise that there were fish above me. A lot of care had been taken to make sure visitors get a fully immersive experience.
There were a few environments featuring animals of never seen before. Georgia Aquarium is famous for its whale sharks but I hadn’t realised before going that they also cared for beluga whales, manta rays, and bottle nose dolphins.
I stood listening to a presentation about the 4 whale sharks at the aquarium, the amount of water used to fill their enclosure, and the thickness of the “glass” (2ft thick!). Then it was getting time… For the whales, I mean.
Rope lines are pulled across the surface of the water. 4 boats enter the water with a keeper inside each one, they then drag themselves along the lines dropping krill into the tank for each individual whale shark. This is how they’re able to monitor the amount that each shark eats. For an animal so large – the largest fish in the world – the whale shark has a throat as big as a quarter. This surprised me but I imagine the other fish in the tank welcomed it; if they were accidentally gulped up by the whale shark during feeding, they simply had to swim or if its gills to escape!
Then it was my feeding time. I found a bar and ordered a beer and a pulled pork sandwich. There was a selection of success on the bar to go with it so I chose to go with their spiciest. There were also milder versions, mustard based sauces, and vinegar based sauces. BBQ sauce seemed like a dialect in the South. Everywhere had their own version, some thick, some thin. I think I prefer the thicker, stickier sauces but I also like them with a bit of a kick.
The side of mac n’cheese was well seasoned and obviously had more than one kind of cheese in there – not a bad thing at all. It was stringy and sharp (like an extra mature cheddar), keeping me filled until much, much later in the evening.