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Ripley's Aquarium Gatlinburg TN!

2 of my daughters! 


Hey neighbors!

As you well know, we are presently in Pigeon Forge for the National Quartet Convention.  While here we are visiting a few of the attractions.  So, after breakfast this morning we headed out to Gatlinburg to visit the Ripley's Aquarium.

We loved it!  There is a parking area directly behind the Aquarium.  I like the setup where you can set your own pace as you work your way through the building.  The whole group of us, my husband, 4 daughters and myself, wandered through the displays watching fish, reading the information plaques, and discussing what we were seeing.  I kept hearing cries of, "Look at these!"




We started in the Amazon RainForest.   The waterfall they have is gorgeous!  I was very interested in the piranhas.  It was amazing to watch the video where they devoured a carcass in seconds.  Looking at the swimming in the tank it was hard to believe that they could be so frenzied.  We also saw some Poison Dart Frogs.  I think my daughters would like to have a display of these in our home.  They loved the brilliantly colored frogs.




In the Ocean Realm we watched the Schooling Fish that seemed to swarm all in the same direction.  Of course after stating this, there was one rebel that swam back in the opposite direction of all the others.  The Flounder were so difficult to find.  At first all you could see were their eyes moving.  Watch the video clip below and see how long it takes you to find one!





Here are just a couple of fun facts, regarding the Ripley's Aquarium:
  • The Aquarium has 1.4 million gallons of water in its exhibits. Water travels throughout the building in over 40 miles of pipe – more than the distance from Gatlinburg to Knoxville.
  • Shark Lagoon is 750,000 gallons of water. The state of the art filtration system for Shark Lagoon circulates 11,664,000 gallons of water every 24 hours.
The Coral Reef was ablaze in colors.  Fish of brilliant yellows and blues were seen here.  Just about every color of the rainbow can be found as you explore this section of the Aquarium.



I think most everyone enjoyed walking through the Shark Lagoon.  Here you are completely surrounded by aquarium.  You can watch sharks, stingrays and saw fish swim above you.  You feel like you are actually close to these fish.  While we were there a few employees were inside cleaning the rocks and such in the tank. Two cleaned while two others used poles to keep the sharks away.  They did not need to keep them away because they were hungry, or trying to attack, but because they were curious.  I can see how having a shark bumping into you could slow you down!



Discovery Center is an area where children, and adults can explore.  We were able to touch a horseshoe crab.  There are some other hands-on displays in this section of the Aquarium.  My daughter had her picture taken as a deep sea diver.




Gallery of the Seas is another very colorful display of unique, beautiful and sometimes deadly sea creatures.  Loved the Sea Nettles, more commonly called Jellyfish.  Watching them flow as they moved is actually quite soothing.  I enjoyed watching as they seem to just flow from place to place.  A neat little fact about them is, they are 99% water!







Stingray Bay was very interesting.  We learned from one of the employees that a stingray's tail has barbs that are slanted backwards, and that they do more damage being pulled out than going in.  The next area is designed to allow you to touch a Stingray.  They are sort of rubbery and almost slimy to the touch.  Only one or two swam close enough to the edge for us to touch.



One of the last areas we explored was the Penguin Playhouse.  I think penguins are adorable.  Watching them is so much fun.  They have an area where children can crawl through a tunnel and pop up and appear to be in with the penguins.  Extremely flexible adults can do this too!  Two penguins stood right next to my daughter and appeared to be posing.





We all enjoyed our time at the Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg.  Be sure to visit when you are in the area.  When you purchase your tickets you can also add some of the other Ripley Attractions.  We will be posting about some of them later next week.  So be sure to stop back in!


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