The Pacific Ocean in the World's Biggest Tank
Today, Japanese technology for looking after fish and marine animals in captivity is better than ever, and more and more aquariums are opening impressive "ecosystem displays" that allow visitors to observe animals in a setting close to their natural environment. Using huge tanks makes it possible to recreate whole ocean ecosystems, so that people can watch and study the behavior of these creatures almost as if they were in the wild.
Whale sharks prowl the huge tank at the Kaiyukan. (C)Osaka Aquarium KAIYUKAN
The main attraction at the Kaiyukan aquarium in Osaka is one of the biggest fish tanks in the world, which recreates the environment of the world’s biggest ocean: the Pacific. Among the thrilling creatures patrolling the tank are whale sharks (up to five meters in length), the world's first display of Japanese devil rays, and aggressive tiger sharks. Other things to see include the Ecuador Rain Forest tank, starring the arapaima, one of the world's largest freshwater fish; the Antarctica tank and its penguin displays; and the Japan Deeps tank, where you can get a rare glimpse of what life is like deep down on the ocean floor, where no sunlight reaches. A total of 14 different tanks show conditions in different parts of the ocean world, so that visitors can experience all the rich ecosystems that exist in the Pacific Rim area.
This tank at the Kaiyukan recreates the deep-sea environment of the Japan Trench. (C)Osaka Aquarium KAIYUKAN