Wednesday, November 08, 2006

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Freakin’ Huge Fish

Georgia Aquarium

I’ll begin this post with my usual refrain of “Sorry for not posting yada yada yada.” Been a little busy. One of the things that we have done lately is go to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta (the largest in the world). Perhaps you have seen Katie’s post about our trip, no?


Thanks to Katie’s brother and his family (who bought us the tickets) we headed off on a day trip to ATL this last Saturday (11/4) with our friends Adam and Sarah. Now, for those of you who know me well know that there are many things that give me the willies, but if there’s ONE thing that REALLY freaks me out, it’s sharks. Now when I say “really freaks me out” I mean it. Here are some examples:

1) Exhibit A
2) While sitting in a theater in Florida with my friends Billy and Jeremy (Cap’n HQ), they forced me to stay in my seat during a trailer for Deep Blue Sea rather than flee the theater.
3) I didn’t actually make it through the trailer of Open Water. Even with the eyes closed, I had to leave the theater until the trailer was over.
4) The same way a picture of a snake will freak people out, I can actually break into sweats at a picture of a Great White.
5) While contemplating the plane trip to Africa, I would freak myself out with thoughts of plane crashes over the oceans. I breathed a sigh of relief at the realization that, if a crash would occur, I would likely die in it and not be stranded in the ocean and then subsequently eaten by sharks.
6) For a while, before any other thing, I began my nightly prayers with a request that God please never let me be eaten by sharks (This is not only true, but this was only about a year ago).

I have really narrowed it down to Great Whites. Other sharks can still get to me, but it’s Great Whites that immediately hit the panic switch. They’re just freakin’ evil and serve no purpose. (And I’m gonna head you off at the pass, Paula. I don’t want any rebuttals about “keystone species” and such. This is my blog. Sharks are evil here.) However, I can easily sit through Jaws and I love aquariums. Oh, the irony.

But there are no Great Whites at the Geogia AQ. So with just a little trepidation on my part, and a lot of sick curiosity on the part of the others, we headed off to the AQ. “Will he have a meltdown at the shark tank?” There was the distinct possibility. The tank has two Whale Sharks, the largest of the shark species (but they eat plankton so they’re our friends). Read the stats on the link. The one’s at the AQ aren’t even that big at all.

Well, the short answer is, NO, I did not. The AQ was great with a fantastic design, and the tank with the whale sharks? Amazing. That one tank has 6,200,000 gallons of water in it! There was some statistic about how many school buses could fit in it, but I don’t remember it, but rest assured it was a lot, and we ain’t talkin’ about short buses here either, folks.

Class in Session

So here are a few shots and some videos. This first one is in an exhibit where a tank actually sprawled above you as you walked throughout it. It was cleverly designed and very impressive. {WARNING: All these videos have loud crowd sounds, so turn down the volume, as there isn’t anything to really hear but noise.]

This next clip is of the Beluga whale tank, which I think was my favorite exhibit. Amazing. They have five whales at the AQ.

And finally, here is a clip of the aforementioned whale sharks (and a gagillion other fish). I will forewarn you that in the moment of filming, I forgot that I needed to keep the camera at just one angle, so for a few seconds the shot turns sideways before it corrects itself. Hey, what can I say? This ain’t National Geographic.)


ashleigh said...

Chris, I was in Atlanta on Saturday too! Weird. While you were viewing beautiful sea creatures, I was at the High Museum viewing beautiful art from the Louvre.

It's a small world. And getting smaller.

IPW said...

"I can actually break into seats at a picture of a Great White."

What type of seat do you break out in? Vinyl? Leather? Flying by your pants? What man? What?

Seriously, sounds like you had a good time.

discipleassisi said...

two words chris: keynote species :)
thanks for the beautiful videography - that's the closest i'll come to going to the GA aquarium for a while... did they have conservation exhibits as well? or was it all wildlife education. sorry, that was unclear; basically i'm asking if each description of an animal/habitat also said: "and you're killing them with stuff you do! here's a website to learn more" mmm, that was cheery. thus is the life of a merry forester.

Baldman76 said...

Ian, my mistake (which is now fixed) was even funnier if you actually follwed the link to Great White that I included.

paula, not a lot of info was actually on display at each exhibit, just a bunch of fish. But the whole place had a conservation focus if you read materials, etc.

Ash, small world.

wagsandpurrs said...

BEAUTIFUL!!! I love the Beluga whales, too! But those pictures of the jelly fish are worth framing, they are so beautiful!! I am proud that you didn't break out into "seats", too!!

Anonymous said...

That is awesome. I want to go!

For a minute, did you think the belugas were white chocolate?

Waldie said...

paula, they did have a short video about white whales of the north atlantic and how they're rapidly depleting. that definitely had a conservation focus.

Hail2theKing said...

Little known fact: Beluga whales are in fact made entirely of white chocolate.

wagsandpurrs said...

Okay, bear with me on this - I read about the beluga whales being white chocolate. Then I thought of beluga caviar. Fish eggs. Roe, right? Then Roe vs. Wade popped into my mind. Is that how you get out to the island?

wagsandpurrs said...

Sorry 'bout that last post.

Sean said...

cheryl and i went to knoxville on saturday, and there were a bunch of billboards along the highway with big sharks on them. i forget what they were for, but we both thought of you.

i hope, if we live there, you'll still come visit us.

cap'n hardqore said...

I think the giant jellyfish are way spookier than the sharks. I mean, just look at those things!

(jim) Bo Ba Log said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
(jim) Bo Ba Log said...

Well . . . I just . . can't . . . help myself!


Anonymous said...

Your jellyfish photo would make a great Christmas present for someone who lives at the shore... Do you know anyone like that?

Dogwood Dell said...

Love the photos and video. My favorite: The Jellyfish.

Looks like y'all had a blast in Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

hey, Chris(topher) and hello to Katie! Your trip to Ga sounded great...for me a day trip is going to Florence Kentucky to the mall...
i love the small town life!
on another note, thanks for the card regarding the loss of Don's sister. We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers. Don is getting to a place where he is not hurting at every memory.
hope ya'll have a great time in V-burg. we missed ya'll at the reunion. it was too much fun and food as usual!
take care!