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There's Something Fishy in Lisbon: Students Visit Oceanarium

Housing many different species of fish, cnidaria, birds and mammals, the Oceanario de Lisboa showcases the great oceans of the world.¬† At 16,000 animals,¬†1,346,493 gallons of seawater, and 23 feet deep, it is Europe’s largest.¬† Follow along in this picture story as the students of Semester at Sea witness life underwater and experience the meditative qualities of being visually immersed in the big blue.

Build in 1998, the Oceanario de Lisboa was the centerpiece of the last World’s Fair of the 20th century. Hosting over a million patrons per year, it is the single most visited site in all of Portugal.


The Bony Fish, a schooling species which moves together to protect against predators, are seen here illuminated by the red auto-focus lamp of a visitor’s camera.


The Alaskan Otters of Lisbon’s Oceanarium are friendly creatures. Born in captivity, they are a breeding pair. Seen here, floating on their backs and napping, their two layers of fur are so dense they trap air bubbles that keep them dry and warm.


Emily Hall (Colorado State University) gazes into the 180,000 cubic foot tank that makes up the majority of Lisbon’s Oceanarium. It is 23 feet deep and houses dozens of species, from all over the world.


Tucker Kelly (Harvard), Samara Lazerson (University of Florida), Gaby Santillanes-Weber (University of Southern California), and Josie Murray (New York University) stand underneath on of the 4 giant acrylic windows that open up into the center tank.


Tucker Kelly (Harvard) sits quietly watching the many species of fish. The large tank of Lisbon’s Oceanarium is actually 5 tanks separated by nearly invisible acrylic panes. This gives the illusion that the many species from the various oceans of the world are living harmoniously together.
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