9 of the world's most amazing aquariums
Bringing people face to face with the underwater world.
(Photo: Dan Schreiber / Shutterstock)
Monterey Bay Aquarium, California
The Monterey Bay Aquarium was built in the 1980s on a site that was once a sardine canning factory. This is a popular attraction, drawing 1.8 million visitors on average each year. Some 600 species call this aquarium home. A complex pumping system brings fresh water from Monterey Bay into the display tanks. This means that the aquarium's inhabitants are actually swimming in fresh ocean water, not in water that has been manipulated to approximate the natural habitat.
For this reason, plants and animals that live in the waters off California's coast also thrive in the aquarium. Kelp forests habitats are among the biggest highlights for visitors. Great white sharks are also on display at Monterey Bay, as are bluefin and yellowfin tuna, sting rays, otters and penguins.