We’re going to take a slight departure from what you might consider your typical aquarium to check out a gigantic fish tank that’s just weird enough to make the list. Today, we’re taking a look at the AquaDom, one of the world’s weirdest aquariums. What’s so bizarre about it? Take a look for yourself:
The builders of Berlin’s Radisson Blu Hotel shattered geometric conventions when they built this enormous, column-like fish tank. Topping out at a height of 25 meters, this fish tank currently holds the record for the world’s biggest cylindrical aquarium, and that title’s well earned. The massive tank holds 900,000 liters of seawater (that’s about 240,000 gallons us Americans), and 1,500 fish across 50 different species.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You probably estimated the circumference of the tank, multiplied by Pi, carried the 2, and figured out that this tank should hold way more than 900,000 liters. You wouldn’t be able to tell just from looking at the pictures, but the whole center of the fish tank is actually hollow.
In an amazing feat of architectural engineering, the designers placed an elevator in the center of the AquaDom. Guests are free to hop in the lift at the foot of the tank and then slowly ascend through the center of the aquarium, watching as the fish swim in front of their very eyes. It’s a bit like a much more vertically inclined version of the underwater tunnels you so frequently see at conventional aquariums.
This aquarium has a rather interesting effect that you don’t often get in places like L’Oceanografic or the Dubai Mall. We usually tend to focus on the width of the oceans, because when we look out across the surface of the water the blue waves just seem to go on forever. That idea is reinforced in conventional aquariums, as most tanks are short and wide to accommodate visitors as they walk along the viewing panels.
In contrast, it can be a lot harder to really grasp the depth of the ocean simply because we can’t see the ocean floor. Even in modern aquariums, where you can see everything, you don’t really get a sense of ocean depth. That’s what makes Radisson Blu’s aquarium so unique in the world of aquatic architecture. Even by just glancing at this tank, you can immediately get a sense of just how incredibly deep the ocean is. The path of the elevator represents the journey from the ocean floor to the surface, an experience most people can’t really visualize unless they strap on some scuba gear.
When all is said and done, this 13 million euro (approximately $17 million) fish tank is sure to turn some heads. Has the AquaDom attracted enough customers to pay off its hefty price tag? It’s hard to say, but one thing’s for sure: it certainly beats elevator music.