Located next to the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai’s bustling financial district of Lujiazui, Shanghai Ocean Aquarium (SOA) was invested by Singapore-based Straco Corporation Limited and China’s China Poly Group with 5500 US dollars, spanning 20,500 square meters. It was opened to the public in February 2002 and receives an average of more than 1 million tourists from all over the world every year. It has been awarded the title of “the Base of Science Education” of China and Shanghai, and is also one of the largest man-made seawater aquariums in the world
SOA is a large modern marine aquarium with international standard, which is divided into nine distinct thematic zones including China, Amazon of South America, Australia, Africa, Southeast Asia, cold water, polar, coastal and deep sea. It comprise of 450 unique species from five continents and four oceans, more than 12000 rare fishes and creatures on the verge of extinction. There is also an underwater tunnel with 155 meters long, one of the longest in the world, and it can have travellers present on the scene. Among them, the most distinctive features are Electric Eels from South America, Sawfishes and Archer fishes from Australia, penguins, etc., and pipefish and ribbon. While marveling at the graceful figure of jellyfish, tourists will enjoy six different ocean styles in the deep sea area, including the breathtaking “Shark Bay”.
SOA’s layout is like a pyramid. The overall building is composed of two buildings, the main building and the auxiliary building. The main building is divided into: on the first floor, there are a lobby, a ticket office, a gift shop and a restaurant; tourists can directly get to the third floor for the aquarium by the escalator at the entrance of the first floor; on the third floor, there are Fossil exhibition, Wulin Conference – competitive bionics exhibition for aquatic life, SOS saving sharks exhibition, exhibition area for rare aquatic organisms in Yangtze River Basin, China exhibition area, South America exhibition area, Australia exhibition area. After visiting the third floor, the tourists can go down by the escalator to the second floor. On the second floor, there are six exhibition areas, including Australia, Africa, Southeast Asia, cold water, polar and coastal. The tourists can directly take escalator to the basement 2 after visiting the second floor. On the basement 2, there are the main body of aquarium and the deep-sea exhibition area. After entering an automatic walking tunnel, tourists will pass through the water view display tank with 650 cubic meters and a subsea tunnel, and finally return to the gift center and the restaurant on the first floor from the exit of the tunnel to complete the whole tour. In addition to the world’s unique fresh-water and marine life, the aquarium also displays the world’s rare species, such as pipefish and ribbon, jellyfish, penguin, spotted seal, shark, alligator statue, Chinese sturgeon and so on. In addition to the aquatic organisms from five continents and four oceans, a preface hall is specially set up to introduce the human and geographical environment of each continent.
The exhibition space displays the geographical and cultural features of countries of origin of fish in different regions with decoration, theme, pattern and sound.