Top Ten Spots for Experiencing Sharks

Aquariums
  |  Gorp.com

When it comes to creatures known to dine on humans, some folks prefer a plate glass in between. Forget swimming with sharks, diving with sharks, even wading with sharks. Which way to the aquarium?

Sharks are notoriously difficult creatures to keep alive in the confines of an aquarium tank. Like land-based predators, sharks need to roam. But many aquariums in the United States succeed in sustaining some easy-to-view specimens.

The prize for the most varieties goes to Scripps Aquarium in San Diego. Shark species swimming in their tanks include swell sharks, nurse sharks, leopard sharks, horn sharks, shovelnose guitarfish, angel sharks, white tip reef sharks, black tip reef sharks, Australian wobbegongs, and bat rays. Sounds like a feat to us.

Up the coast, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is able to sustain leopard, brown smoothound, sevengill, sixgill, spiny dogfish, swell, horn, filetail, catshark, and soupfin sharks. These are generally species that live on or near the seafloor and adapt well to life in an aquarium tank.

Steinhardt Aquarium in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park has a special tank for tropical sharks. Look out for nurse sharks, black tips, white tips, and wobbegongs.

The spanking new Ocean Journey Aquarium in Denver displays nurse sharks, sand sharks, tiger sharks, sandbar sharks, and zebra bonnet head, integrated into naturalistic environments.

In the Lonestar state, the Dallas Zoo has a predators exhibit filled with green moray eels, lionfish, and yes, a black tip shark.

If, in your opinion, New York has been too risk-free during these law and order days, take the subway to the New York Aquarium in Coney Island. There you can get your thrills hanging with 400-pound sandtiger sharks.

The Florida Aquarium boasts four different galleries that display offshore sharks from around the world. Among the feature species are sand tiger sharks, sandbar sharks, and leopard sharks. The shark gallery has soft carpeting and long rows of benches so that you can zone out among the predators. For the ultimate thrill, you can arrange a sleepover for a child's birthday party or scout group.

Sure beats Pin the Tail on the Donkey.


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