Asia's largest public aquarium opens today

Artist rendition of Aqua Planet Jeju’s main tank

Many of us know about the gigantic whale shark tank at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.  (If not, scroll to the bottom of a previous Advanced Aquarist article to watch a breathtaking video of their main tank).  The aquarium’s viewing panel is a single massive continuous acrylic panel spanning 22.5 x 8.2 meters (74 x 27 ft).  Huge, right?

In a classic example of one-ups-man-ship, the new Aqua Planet Jeju in South Korea has bested Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium with both a larger display tank and the largest total volume of any Asian public aquarium.  Aqua Planet Jeju’s main tank features a 23 x 8.5 meter acrylic viewing panel (75 x 28 ft) … bigger than Okinawa’s but just barely.  The total water volume of Aqua Planet Jeju’s tanks weighs in at an impressive 10,800 tons, again barely beating Okinawa’s 10,500 tons.

(In case anyone is wondering, the Georgia Aquarium is still the world’s largest aquarium at 25,000 tons)

Besides the 6,000 ton main saltwater exhibit, Aqua Planet Jeju will feature many other fresh and saltwater displays including a walk-through aquarium tunnel. We have no word on Aqua Planet Jeju’s stocking plans for their main tank, although we suspect they will also exhibit crowd-pleasing whale sharks like Okinawa.  But imagine if the curators turned it into a massive coral reef display, complete with whale sharks and manta rays to please the crowd.  One can dream …

Seogwipo City is located on Jeju Island in Southern South Korea.

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