10 Largest Aquariums in the World

The most common size for a home aquarium tank is probably 29 or 30 gallon, though some aquarists have constructed aquariums of many thousands of gallons. Public aquariums can be dramatically larger than any home aquarium. But only a few are big enough to make it to our list of largest aquariums in the world. The kind of aquarium that can hold whale sharks and manta rays. It takes a very large tank to hold these kind of aquatic creatures.


In order to compare these large aquariums we have looked at the size of their biggest tank (in gallons). Most aquariums have several tanks and the combined volume of water can be much larger but it is only the largest aquarium tank that is counted. So here’s a list of the largest aquariums in the world.

10Aquarium of Western Australia (0,8 million gallons)

Located in a coastal suburb of Perth, the Aquarium of Western Australia, or AQWA in short, contains Australia’s largest aquarium tank. The aquarium’s main tank is 40 meters (130 ft) long and 20 meters (66 ft) wide and holds 3,000,000 liters (793,000 gallons) of seawater. It incorporates a 98 meter (322 ft) underwater tunnel. For a fee, snorkelers and divers can get even closer to the fish, sharks, and rays by joining the aquarium’s dive master in exploring the main tank.

9Aquarium of Genoa (< 1 million gallons)

Built for Expo 92, the Aquarium of Genoa in Italy is one of the largest aquariums in Europe. The aquarium’s 70 tanks reproduce marine and terrestrial habitats from throughout the world and provide a home for more than 6000 animals. Some tanks reproduce natural environments from different areas as the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. The most spectacular ones are those housing the sharks, the dolphins and the seals.

8Shanghai Ocean Aquarium (< 1 million gallons)
Shanghai Ocean Aquariumflickr/hunxue-er

The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in Asia. It is composed of 9 exhibition zones of all over the world, including the China Zone, the Antarctic Zone and the Australia Zone. The China Zone is home to several endangered Chinese aquatic species, including rare and precious species from the Yangtze River. The biggest attraction of the aquarium is the underwater tunnel. At 155 meter (509 ft) it is the longest underwater tunnel in the world.

7uShaka Marine World (< 1 million gallons)
uShaka Marine Worldflickr/* cris *

The uShaka Marine World is a theme park located in Durban, South Africa. It contains the largest aquarium in Africa boasting 32 tanks. The sea creatures found in the aquarium range from small sea horses all the way through to sharks and dolphins. The Aquarium is built to look like an old wreck and contains a number of restaurants and cafes. The most notable of these restaurants is “The Cargo Hold” restaurant which contains a full wall sized aquarium containing a number of sharks which are visible from most of the dining area.

6Monterey Bay Aquarium (1,2 million gallons)

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is located on the site of a former sardine cannery on Cannery Row in Monterey, California. Among the aquarium’s numerous exhibits are two gigantic tanks. The centerpiece of the Ocean’s Edge Wing is a 10 meter (33 foot) high 1,3 million liter (0,33 million gallon) tank for viewing California coastal marine life. The other one is a 4,5 million liter (1,2 million gallon) tank in the Outer Bay Wing which features one of the world’s largest single-paned windows. Sealife on exhibit includes stingrays, jellyfish, sea otters, and numerous other native marine species, which can be viewed above and below the waterline.

5Turkuazoo (1,32 million gallons)
Turkuazooflickr/pixage

Opened in 2009, Turkuazoo is Turkey’s first giant aquarium featuring a rainforest, flooded forest and tropical seas zones. The aquarium is located inside the Forum Istanbul Shopping Mall and contains a 80 meter long underwater tunnel. Turkuazoo holds about 10,000 sea creatures including tiger sharks, giant stingrays and piranhas in 29 different exhibits where the largest holds 5 million liters (1,32 million gallons) of water.

4L'Oceanografic (1,85 million gallons)
L'Oceanograficflickr/Aerismaud

L’Oceanogràfic is a marine complex where different marine habitats are represented. It is integrated inside a complex known as the City of Arts and Sciences inside the city of Valencia, Spain. The Oceanogràfic features the largest aquarium tank in Europe and houses more than 45,000 marine creatures. They populate nine under water towers, structured on two levels that represent several marine ecosystems. Two underwater towers are joined by a 35 meter underwater tunnel and it’s tank is filled with sharks, rays and 7 million liters (1,85 million gallon) of water.

3Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium (1,98 million gallons)

The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is located within the Ocean Expo Park in Japan and was opened in 2002. The main tank of the aquarium, called the Kuroshio Sea, holds 7,5 million liters (1,981,000 gallons) of water and features an acrylic glass panel measuring 8.2 by 22.5 meters (27 by 74 feet) with a thickness of 60 centimeters (24 inches), the largest such panel in the world when the aquarium was opened. Whale sharks and manta rays are kept alongside many other fish species in Kuroshio Sea. As of July 2010, there have been a total of four manta rays born in the aquarium.

2Dubai Mall Aquarium (2,64 million gallons)
Dubai Mall Aquariumflickr/Chu

The Dubai Mall, one the world’s largest shopping malls in the world, is part of the 20-billion-dollar Burj Dubai complex in Dubai. The centerpiece of the mall is the gigantic aquarium tank, with the capacity to hold 10 million liters (2,64 million gallons) of water. The aquarium has more than 33,000 living animals including over 400 sharks and rays combined. It officially earned the Guinness World Record for the world’s “Largest Acrylic Panel”. The panel measures 8.3 by 32.88 meter (27 by 108 feet) and is 75 centimeters (30 inches) thick beating Japan’s Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium to the punch. In February 2010, the shark filled tank sprang a leak causing an evacuation and brief shutdown of the mall.

1Georgia Aquarium (6,3 million gallons)
#1 of Largest Aquariums In The Worldwikipedia/Zac Wolf

The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is the largest aquarium in the world housing more than 100,000 sea creatures. Funded mostly by a $250 million donation from Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, the aquarium opened in November 2005. The Georgia Aquarium is the only institution outside of Asia to house whale sharks. The sharks are kept in a gigantic 24 million liter (6.3 million gallon) tank in the Ocean Voyager exhibit. There has been controversy surrounding the decision of the Georgia Aquarium to house whale sharks. Concerns about keeping the whale sharks in captivity were heightened by the deaths of two of the whale sharks originally obtained.

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Map of Largest Aquariums In The World

35 comments

  1. Stu

    The Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium has a total capacity of 10.9Mil… How come it didn’t make the list?? The main tank is amazing!

  2. Robin
    Author

    Thanks Stu. The largest tank of the Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium is about 1,43 million gallons, so big enough to make it to this list.

  3. Melanie

    I went to the Georgia Aquarium not knowing it was the bigest in the world. The place is amazing and very inspiring. I now am rethinking my major in school. If you are ever near Atlanta, you must visit this aquarium. You’ll love it and the price of admission is very low.

  4. The Truth

    Someone already mentioned Lisbon Aquarium, 5,5 million liters main tank, and there’s also the North Sea oceanarium in Denmark, at 4,5 million liters (1,2 million gallons) main tank, it’s bigger than some of the ones the list. I’m also not sure if the 7 million liters of the L’Oceanogràfic in Valencia can be considered a single tank?

  5. Barbaros

    List needs to be updated again as Turkey opened the biggest aquarium in the world yesterday in Florya (Istanbul).

  6. Adrian Tolliday

    Well there are so many tanks missed from this list. How about the Atlantis Ambassador Tank in Dubai, which has 3m gallons seawater – i know cause I was the first in it when we filled it!

  7. Patrick

    What about the one in Atlantis the palm? ambassador lagoon? its advertised to have 11.5 million litres and it looks like it could be to, I have also been to Dubai mall and Atlantis is definitely bigger. I agree with Aidrian Tolliday.

  8. Danielle Wilson

    Shedd Aquarium in Chicago should have been # 2 with 5mil gallons….It was #1 until the Atlanta one came along

  9. elaine johnson

    these places are a disgrace. marine creatures belong in the sea, not to be gawped at . so sad

  10. Nate Berkes

    @elaine johnson
    Aqauriums are used for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. There 1st goalis to make money the 2nd EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES!!!!

  11. thegidget

    @elaine johnson and @Nate Berkes
    Many Aquariums are non profit and barely meet the gigantic financial needs to care and house the animals. At our local aquarium many of the animals are rescues, deemed “non-releasable” meaning they were rehabilited from injuries but deemed not to be able to survive in the wild. These animals are ambassadors of their species, and usually treated and fed very well. Of course animals are usually happier in the wild, but in their case they would be dead without the aquarium’s care. Of course not all aquariums are run in such an ethical manner, so it is important to find out before giving them your financial support.

  12. Koen

    The Burgers’ Ocean is an aqaurium in Arnhem, the Netherlands that holds >8 milion litres, wich is 2113376.42 Gallons if im not mistaken and should be included.

  13. Sharkbait

    Singapore’s S.E.A. Aquarium on the island resort of Sentosa is the largest in the world. I read that it holds almost 12 million gallons and 100,000 animals

  14. M.L.

    I’ve been to a few of these and will say that the Georgia Aquarium is great, though it was greater before they foolishly got rid of their 3 beautiful, big hammerheads. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is located in a real nice area and is well landscaped on a beautiful beach, but the exhibits are underwhelming. Event their main attraction, the big shark tank, is kinda lame. Their claim to fame is that they have on occasion had a juvenile great white on display. No telling when they will do that again but when they have great white it is obviously a very special place. Unfortunately, they rarely do.

  15. dan

    Shedd Aquarium in Chicago has 5 million gallons in the oceonarium alone. It is much bigger than all of these with the exception of Georgia. (Georgia was modeled after Shedd.)

  16. Paul

    I was involved in the manufacturing and installation of the acrylic windows for most of the above including the aquariums listed in some comments, the list has missed a few major aquariums but if based on water capacity per exhibit its probably correct, the large windows are laminated acrylic glass, the larger windows were lowered into the tanks in separate pieces , we would then bond each section ( anything from 2 – 20ton per section ) together inside the tank. Once completed the joints are smoothed and polished and the entire bonded window its pushed into place and sealed. The secret was to keep the joint ( also a clear acrylic ) to a minimum, usually between 3-5mm and the finished product looks to be almost seamless.

  17. Kris

    I believe the Georgia Aquarium put the hammerheads back in the wild due to the fact that they had attacked one of the other animals and killed it.

  18. rick

    Atlantis is a marine habitat that constantly communicates with the atlantic ocean but with filtering blockades to prevent escape. Not a TRUE AQUARIUM BY DEFINITION…

  19. Beth

    Just visited Georgia Aquarium and I have to say I was not that impressed. I’ve visited a number of aquariums in the U.S. and would probably rate this one the lowest. Admission is now $37 and my family is still scratching our heads and wondering how it is rated as the largest aquarium in the world – it just did not seem that big. We used to go to Mystic aquarium in Connecticutt and we loved that but I thought Atlanta paled in comparisob.

  20. touropia
    Author

    About the Marine Life Park in Singapore: For this list we compared the size of the biggest tanks. The Open Ocean tank of the Marine Life Park is 4,800,000 gallon. So it is not the largest on this list.

  21. touropia
    Author

    @Max, 1 sizes are listed here in gallons not in liters. 2 for this list we compared the volume of the biggest tank of an aquarium, not of the entire aquarium The volume of the largest tank at Ripley’s Aquarium is 750,000 gallons. That’s not enough to make it to the top 10.

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