Aquariums are a great way to admire the beauty of aquatic species from all over the world. They function as both entertainment centers and educational institutions, giving people of all ages a glimpse of the wonders of marine life. In the United States, there are hundreds of aquariums scattered across various states. If you're an aquarium enthusiast, you're probably wondering how many aquariums there are in the US. Well, don't worry, we've got you covered. In this article, we'll be discussing the number of aquariums in the US, as well as some other interesting facts about them.
What is an Aquarium?
Before we dive into the numbers, let's briefly discuss what an aquarium is. In simple terms, an aquarium is a facility where aquatic species are kept and displayed for public viewing. Most aquariums have large tanks that are filled with salt or freshwater, and they house various species of fish, turtles, sharks, coral, and other marine creatures. While aquariums are primarily for entertainment, they also serve as research facilities, conservation centers, and educational institutions.
How Many Aquariums are there in the US?
The United States is home to hundreds of aquariums, big and small. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), there are currently 232 accredited aquariums in the US. These aquariums are located in 43 different states, and they collectively house over 120,000 animals from over 700 species. It's worth noting that this number only includes accredited aquariums, which means there may be even more aquariums in the country that are not accredited.
Types of Aquariums in the US
Aquariums in the US are generally divided into three categories: public, private, and government-run. Let's take a closer look at each category.
Public aquariums are the most common type of aquarium in the US. These aquariums are usually run by non-profit organizations or government agencies and are open to the public. They often have large exhibit spaces and house a wide variety of marine life. Public aquariums are typically located in urban areas, and they serve as popular tourist attractions.
Private aquariums are usually owned by individuals or companies and are not open to the public. These aquariums are often located in private residences, hotels, and restaurants. Private aquariums are usually smaller than public aquariums and have fewer species of fish and aquatic animals. They are mainly for personal enjoyment and not for public viewing.
Government-run aquariums are typically affiliated with zoos or other wildlife conservation organizations. These aquariums are primarily focused on research and conservation efforts. Government-run aquariums are usually located in remote areas that are not easily accessible to the public.
Famous Aquariums in the US
Some aquariums in the US are more famous than others. Here are five of the most famous aquariums in the country:
1. The Georgia Aquarium: Located in Atlanta, Georgia, the Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the western hemisphere. It houses over 10 million gallons of water and is home to over 100,000 animals from 700 different species.
2. The Monterey Bay Aquarium: Located in Monterey, California, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is known for its diverse collection of marine life, including sea otters, octopuses, and giant kelp forests.
3. The Shedd Aquarium: Located in Chicago, Illinois, the Shedd Aquarium is known for its extensive collection of fish, marine mammals, and birds. It is home to over 32,000 animals from 1,500 different species.
4. The National Aquarium: Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the National Aquarium is known for its 1.3 million-gallon shark tank and its collection of dolphins, jellyfish, and sea turtles.
5. The Tennessee Aquarium: Located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Tennessee Aquarium is known for its interactive exhibits and its focus on conservation. It is home to over 12,000 animals from 800 different species.
In conclusion, there are hundreds of aquariums in the US, with the majority of them being public aquariums. These aquariums serve as popular tourist attractions and educational institutions. If you're an aquarium enthusiast, be sure to visit some of the most famous aquariums in the country, such as the Georgia Aquarium, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Shedd Aquarium. Whether you're interested in fish, sharks, or other marine life, there's an aquarium in the US that's perfect for you..