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21 Aug 2019

'World's highest aquarium' opens in China
BY Andy Knaggs

Visitors to the Xining aquarium, pictured on opening day (18 August)

Visitors to the Xining aquarium, pictured on opening day (18 August)
photo: Xinhua/Zhang Long

Standing more than 2,200 metres (7,200ft) above sea level, a new aquarium just opened in Xining, Qinghai Province in northwest China, now hold's the record for the world's highest-altitude aquarium.

Opened on 18 August, the 28,000sq m (91,860sq ft) site has taken almost two years to build and is the first aquarium on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. More than 400 aquatic species and 100 terrestrial animals are held there, including naked carps – which are endemic to Qinghai Lake and are on China's endangered list – Arctic wolves and foxes.

A decline in theatrical animal shows worldwide hasn't stopped the new attraction's owners, with the aquarium featuring shows by beluga whales from Russia and bottlenose dolphins from Japan.

Luo Ruibin, the aquarium's curator, said of the animal care provided: "We simulated their original living environment and optimised their living environment in the aquarium, including water temperature, water pressure, oxygen content and PH level, and even their food was shipped by air from other cities."

The building is divided into themed exhibitions, including freshwater animals, marine life, jellyfish, science popularisation and interaction, pets, and the beluga and dolphin theatre.

Ruibin said that introducing marine life to the plateau area would "not only educate local residents but also be of great significance for scientific research".



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