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On our way home after A and F’s wedding in Madeira, we had to change plane in Lisbon but the wait was four and a half long hours! We asked our friends about the possibility of seeing the center of Lisbon – but the trip is 30-45 minutes each way, so it was not quite long enough to do a city tour (plus we had been to Lisbon before).

Our friends told us to visit the city’s aquarium which is located not far from the airport.  So as soon as we stored our luggage at a deposit service in the airport, we hopped onto a taxi and went to the Oceanário de Lisboa. This is one of two videos I shot at the Oceanario, named “Otter Foot Massage”, the other is “Penguin Carousel” which will be in our next post.

There were three otters, just lying on their backs, floating around the pool. One kept massaging its foot  and the other two wagged their tails occasionally to keep themselves rotating slowly, while looking up at the spectators nonchalantly. This type of otters are known to have the thickest fur of marine mammals and can use tools (rocks) to crack open shellfish.

This aquarium is the largest indoor Aquarium in Europe and second largest in the world.

It was built for the World Expo in 1998 and is located in the Parque das Nações next to a cluster of high tech office buildings.

The main tank is in fact 5 tanks cleverly designed to look like one vast mass of  oceanic water. The tanks contains all kinds of sharks, sting rays, tuna, barracudas, eels and groupers, plus many others. The tanks have a total surface area of 11,000 square feet and are each 23 feet deep.

Also kept in here is a school of fish that is shimmering under the sunlight in the middle of the tank. Both bottom dwelling and surface fishes coexist in this tank.

This is a sun fish which is massive but slow moving, a rare species for aquariums apparently.



A grouper ?

Some of these fishes were fed by hand with bits of squids.


They also kept birds around in the aquarium but it is not clear how they prevent these birds from catching some of the smaller fishes  in the tank.


More animals in the next post.


One Comment

  1. I have seen the sun fish in the aquarium in Osaka. I guess they only exists in aquariums nowadays.

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