Friday, March 2, 2012

The Dancing School of Silvery Fish

I was mesmerized!  I have always loved aquariums and had just spent a perfectly lovely day walking through what was then the very new, very smart, very over-the-top Manly Aquarium in Sydney, Australia.  The developers of what was described as "an underwater viewing stage" had created a stunning jaw-dropping aquarium.

One of its headlining features is the underwater tunnel through which aquarium patrons glide along on a moving walkway while sharks and all manner of other fish glide overhead allowing fish and human up-close-and-personal encounters.  This was the first underwater viewing tunnel I had experienced--and indeed was only the second in the world to exist! It was nearly too amazing to imagine!   New Zealanders Kelly Tarlton and Ian Mellsop, had built the first for their native country in Auckland just two years earlier.  (Today I read that the company Tarlton and Mellsop began, Marinescape NZ Ltd. is a leader in aquarium design.)

Yes, the walk-through tunnel aquarium was astounding, but the most marvelous, most memorable aquarium display I have ever seen in any aquarium anywhere in the world, was an astoundingly large tank several stories high and many feet wide.  Comfortable benches placed in a semi-darkened room facing the wall of shimmering crystal clear water beckoned to this tried aquarium visitor.

I sat down hoping for a quiet respite from the eager crowds being moved through the "shark tunnel".  Upon relaxing, I became aware of Vivaldi's Spring Concerto floating through the pale blue room. Ah, music to soothe the soul, and a bench on which to rest.  Perfect!  Ah....but that was not all.

There were fish--tiny shiny silvery fish in that shimmering water!  Hundreds or maybe even thousands of them!  Dancing!  Cavorting!  Slipping through that silky water in perfect unison!

Painting the music of Vivaldi for all to see!


No comments: