Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Kaiyukan 海遊館

Kaiyukan, or "playing in the sea pavilion," is the proper name of the Ōsaka aquarium. It is one of the largest public aquariums in the world and its inhabitants are displayed in 15 tanks, each representing a specific region of the Pacific Rim. The central tank, representing the Ring of Fire area of the Pacifc Ocean, is nine meters deep and home to a whale shark. Visitors start their tour of the aquarium on the 8th floor and slowly spiral down floor by floor around the central tank. Some of the tanks stretch over several floors, making it possible to observe the animals from different depths and perspectives. The organization, architecture, and marine life chosen for the Kaiyukan follow, in part, the Gaia Hypothesis advocated by Dr.James Lovelock. This hypothesis includes "a theory of the Earth as a living organism - where the evolution of the species and their material environment are tightly coupled. Pictured is a Moon jellyfish at play in the sea pavilion.

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