It was time for us to dive under the sea (figuratively) as we set off to explore the National Aquarium Denmark, Den Blå Planet (The Blue Planet). Here we got to meet the creatures of the North sea, tropical fish, and even those swimming in the rivers and lakes that they’re used to.
If you missed it, check out last week’s post where we experience the royal life at Christiansborg Palace.
I love aquariums! I think it’s because I’ve always felt so attached to the ocean. I grew up with the Pacific Ocean practically at my doorstep, and I can’t imagine living in a city that’s not connected to the sea. I love watching nature shows about the ocean and I love learning about everything that lives beneath the waves. What can I say, my heart belongs to the ocean.
So aquariums to me are a special place. Of course, aquariums are only good if they’re putting the animals first. The focus of an aquarium should be conservation, rehabilitation where necessary, research, and educating the public. We shouldn’t be taking animals out of their natural habitats just for the sake of being able to gog at them from behind some glass. I’m not an expert in any way, but I do at least try to only support the places that are doing good for the animals. You can learn more about what Den Blå Planet is doing in these regards here.
I grew up visiting the Vancouver Aquarium, but haven’t been to any others, so I was really excited to see an aquarium in another country. What sort of animals would they have? What kind of environments would they focus on? Den Blå Planet definitely didn’t disappoint.
Den Blå Planet is broken up into approximately three sections: the North Sea, lakes and rivers (I believe the focus was Africa here), and the coral reef. There’s also an Amazon section and, while we were there, they had a cave exhibition. There were things I’ve seen in the Vancouver Aquarium, such as the sea otters (but who doesn’t love watching sea otters?), but there were many things I’ve never seen before, so for the purposes of this post, I will mostly focus on things that were new to me, although this doesn’t cover everything there is to see at Den Blå Planet.
I thought it was really cool to have a section dedicated to rivers and lakes. If memory serves correctly, this is where the alligator snapping turtle lives, who was definitely one of the coolest guys we saw. We even got to see him snap up for some food! I also enjoyed the area dedicated to the coastal birds of the Faroe Islands, in the North Sea section.
But by far my absolutely favourite part, and probably this aquarium’s crown jewel, was the Ocean Tank. It’s a huge tank that you can sit across from and watch, or-or-or (!!!) walk through one of those tunnel things where the tank is all around you! I have always wanted to walk through a tunnel like that! It was AMAZING! Honestly, I would have been happy with that setup no matter what was in the tank, but what they had in the tank made things so. Much. Cooler. They had, wait for it —
Gahhhhh. Okay. So I’m not normally super into sharks. I’m more of a dolphin girl. But hammerhead sharks? Dude. Those guys are hilarious looking! Ever since I first saw a picture of them as a child, I have been obsessed with hammerheads. So getting to see them swimming above and around me was a literal dream come true. (Glad for the glass separating us; I would never actually want to be in water with a shark nearby, hammerhead or not.) I could have sat there, no joke, all day just watching them.
Hammerheads weren’t the only things in this tank, though. There were two other types of sharks in there as well, zebra sharks and blacktip fin sharks, plus what seemed like a zillion manta rays all gliding about, and there was even a sea turtle. So. Very, very cool tank to watch. We got to see the rays getting fed and that was really fun. I joked about sitting there all day, but I probably did hang out by this tank for at least an hour, if not longer, just watching everything swim around. I was under the great big blue spell, that’s for sure.
So if you love aquariums, then Den Blå Planet might be a good stop for you. Personally, I thought the Ocean Tank made it completely worthwhile (HAMMERHEAD SHAAARKS!!!!).
Check back next week as we head underground and step into the world of the flood.
In the meantime, check out my other travel stories!