x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Marine education found in lost city

Well-hidden in the depths of Atlantis are the Lost Chambers - an area intended to educate children on marine life.

DUBAI // Well-hidden in the depths of Atlantis around a certain part of the Aquarium are the Lost Chambers. Designed to recreate the image of the lost city of Atlantis, imagined relics of the legendary city and its ruins are scattered around a maze of dungeon-like rooms, telling a story while educating children on marine life at the same time. "We have a strong educational programme associated with this tour," said Peter Doyle, senior vice president of the marine and water park at Atlantis. "Part of the idea behind the Lost Chambers is to showcase in here what is out there."

Visitors enter the Lost Chambers through vast brass doors and immediately see a glass tank containing hundreds of anchovies and mackerels. Guests move through tunnel-like corridors, where walls on one side are filled with tanks displaying all kinds of other species of marine life. In another area, hangs a stone mosaic depicting a map of the UAE in ancient times. Nearby is one of the featured attractions, a "touch-tank" that enables visitors to hold a number of creatures.

"We want visitors to enjoy themselves here and the touch tank is a great experience that kids can learn and take away with them," said Adrian Tolliday, vice president of fish husbandry at Atlantis. There are three touch tanks, each containing different marine life, including starfish, horseshoe crabs and freshwater rays. Other tanks hold groupers weighing between 150kg and 200kg, a school of piranhas from South America, Wels catfish from Spain, moray eels, jellyfish, and live coral that can be found growing in the Emirates.