Singapore doesn’t seem to run out of new attractions for locals and tourists alike. After the ginormous, out-of-this-world, billion dollar Gardens by the Bay opened its doors last June 2012, you might be wondering, what more can Singapore build? Well, here’s the answer, the world’s largest oceanarium!
Located at the heart of Resorts World Sentosa is the Marine Life Park. It features two world-class attractions, strong>Adventure Cove Waterpark and S.E.A. Aquarium, claimed to be the world’s largest oceanarium.
I got to visit our very own Manila Ocean Park and Ocean Park Hong Kong a few years back and I was truly awed by such magnificent showcase of our vibrant marine biodiversity. I really had high expectations for Singapore’s new attraction considering that it now holds the title as the largest.
The S.E.A. Aquarium is 100% indoor and air-conditioned so if you’re looking to take a respite from the hot and humid outdoors while doing something worthwhle, then you might want to explore this gargantuan attraction. We planned a visit to Singapore’s latest attraction at the height of Chinese New Year, so we bought our tickets ahead online to save ourselves from long queues.
The S.E.A. Aquarium is located within the Maritime Experiential Museum. Only those with tickets to the aquarium get to enter the museum as well. For now, we’ll skip the museum while I take you to a virtual tour of the S.E.A. Aquarium.
The whole oceanarium is divided into ten zones and we’ll begin our exploration at the Strait of Karimata and Java Sea.
We ventured beneath the Strait of Karimata and were astounded by this monumental shipwreck! Like real shipwrecks, it has evolved into a thriving marine habitat for squadrons of pompano, threadfin trevally, batfish and other marine animals.
Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea
This zone allowed us to enjoy ‘magnified’ marine life encounters.
We walked across a floor of glass with predators and other ocean denizens swimming right under our feet.
Also located within the second zone is the “Discovery Touch Pool” which allows kids and kids at heart to enjoy the tactile experience of the friendliest sea creatures, from sea stars to sea urchins.
Bay of Bengal and Laccadive Sea
The Sundarbans Mangrove is home to a myriad of endangered plants and mangrove inhabitants.
Also, look out for other jewels of the coral reef and unique fish species found in the Laccadive Sea.
Here, we discovered the athletic prowess of the Indo-Pacific bottle-nose dolphins, plus the cool marine life in the cold water habitats.
I was truly mesmerized by the pulsating dances of these sea jellies!
We’ve finally reached the centerpiece of the Aquarium, the world’s largest viewing panel. At 36 meters wide and 8.3 meters high, it gave us a feeling of being an observer right at the ocean floor!
Covering a floor area of roughly 300 square meters, this magical realm is home to gentle giants of the sea including the leopard shark, goliath groupers, Napoleon wrasses and a never-before-seen squadron of manta rays!
This manta ray seems to be the king in this part of the aquarium. There is a hypnotic intrigue of schools of fish swimming in unison with him.
Since this is the crowning jewel of the SEA Aquarium, I actually assumed that we were already at the end of our undersea exploration, but I realized later on that we were only halfway yet!
Arabian Gulf and Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea and the Arabian Gulf make up one of the largest marine sanctuaries in the world. Here, we encountered unusual semi-aquatic creatures from the rocky shores of the gulf to the living colors of the overhanging coral reef.
The Red Sea, the world’s northernmost tropical sea, is home to coral reefs – often called the ‘rainforest of the seas’, that harbor a vast array of marine life.
Coral reefs are truly one of the most beautiful ecosystems in the world.
The two freshwater lake habitats of Africa, are home to an amazing diversity of fish, as well as the predatory African tigerfish, the piranhas of Africa!
South China Sea
A lionfish, as it displays its poisonous outstretched barbs.
Moray Eels. Scary!
This one also made my jaw drop. We were transported into the marine habitat of majestic predators. Endangered species like the scalloped hammerhead shark, the powerful silvertip shark and the sandbar shark, together with dozens of other sharks co-exist harmoniously in this zone.
While the above photos seem to be a lot, I only took a limited number of photos, considering the size of the oceanarium, so I could also enjoy our exploration of marine life. Imagine this. All of the displays contain a combined total of 45 million liters of water so at least a hundred thousand marine animals of 800 species could thrive in such a spectacle.
E-N-O-R-M-O-U-S. It took us almost three hours to explore the whole thing and the myriad of marine wonders inspired me to do my own part in protecting our seas. Remember, the world is made up of 70% water. If our destructive practices continue, ocean fish are predicted to be totally wiped out in 50 years! Alarming… Well here’s to hoping that more and more people become aware of oceans’ integral role in sustaining life here on Earth.
The next time you’re in Singapore, do plan a visit to the S.E.A. Aquarium. Tickets for the aquarium includes access to the Maritime Experiential Museum.
ADULT (age 13-15): 29SGD
CHILD (age 4-12): 20SGD
SENIOR (above 60): 20SGD
How to get there:
From the Sentosa Express monorail (Waterfront Station)
From RWS 8 bus stop outside The Forum
From Sentosa Boardwalk
After getting your tickets from the booth at Maritime Experiential Museum, the S.E.A. Aquarium is just a few minutes away.
Take note, tickets can also be bought online. Tickets are also sold at booths located at Universal Studios Singapore, the RWS Ticketing and Membership Hub, as well as the entrances of S.E.A. Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark.