RIO DE JANEIRO – South America’s largest aquarium is scheduled to open next month in Rio de Janeiro, giving visitors an opportunity to explore the sea in a transparent tunnel and swim with sharks.
AquaRio, constructed with private funds, has 28 tanks holding 4.5 million liters of water, with 2,000 animals from 200 different species expected to be on display.
The number of fish could triple in the future, AquaRio representatives said.
The aquarium’s big attraction is expected to be the 3.5-million-liter tank inhabited by sharks and stingrays, a display that visitors will be able to explore from the safety of a 20-meter (65-foot) acrylic tunnel.
No other aquarium in the world has a similar tunnel, which gives visitors “a tremendous sensation of being immersed,” AquaRio director and marine biologist Marcelo Szpilman told EFE.
The aquarium, which cost 130 million reais (about $40 million), is in an old grain warehouse in the port district, which underwent a complete renovation for the Summer Olympics.