The Crocus City Oceanarium (Russian: Крокус Сити Океанариум) is located on the MKAD, or the Moscow Automobile Ring Road, in North-West Moscow. This 10,000-square-meter oceanarium was opened in December 2016 inside the Crocus City Mall, a huge area containing exhibition pavilions, shopping centers, two concert halls, a rink and a yacht club. This iceberg-shaped oceanarium occupies three floors.
This museum is known as an “oceanarium”, but its exhibition covers not only marine and freshwater animals, but also birds, reptiles, monkeys and even comprises a butterfly garden. It is home to 5,000 species from all over the world and you will definitely need more than one visit to see everything. The exhibition is divided into three parts: Seas and Oceans, Rivers and Lakes, and Jungles. A separate ticket is required for each of these exhibitions.
The Seas and Oceans is the museum’s most picturesque section, with its seaside fauna, marine life and animals. The aquariums in the marine exhibition in Crocus City are 2,500,000 million liters in volume, the largest in Moscow. There is also a walk-through tunnel covered in glass where you can see fish swimming overhead.
Brightly-coloured tropical fish, morays, an octopus, starfish and sea urchins welcome visitors right at the entrance to the Seas and Oceans exhibition, followed by panoramic aquariums with huge reef groupers, manta rays, barracudas, sea turtles and other exciting species. Next is the Hall of Sharks. There are quite a few of them at the Oceanarium, although there are no large predators such as white or tiger sharks. There are many types of sharks, including leopard, sand, brown, blacktip, carpet and cat sharks on display. Other halls display ringed seals, Humboldt penguins and other large animals and birds. The Seas and Oceans exhibition ends in an open, light room with hornbills flying here and there and minuscule monkeys, birds and bats that live inside glass showcases. Along the way, you can see Papuan and Philippine hornbills, ring-tailed lemurs and all kinds of marmosets.
The exhibition recreates different climates and visitors can examine some aquariums from the side or even from below; large convex portholes on the sides of the aquariums give visitors the impression of being on board a bathyscaphe. Kids always bubble over with excitement at the prospect of getting inside such a porthole and having a look at the world through it. There are many floor-to-ceiling panoramic aquariums, as well as open aquariums, like the one in the Hall of Sharks, where sharks swim in a small pool while you observe them from the bridges.
The freshwater exhibition is less bright than the marine one, but just as exciting. It also features an underwater tunnel and is just as sizeable as the marine exhibition. Here you will see fish inhabiting Russia’s bodies of water as well as those from South American, Asian and African rivers. While lovers of aquarium fish tend to be familiar with some species on view (barbs, armoured catfish and cichlids, among others), there are some rarer species new to many visitors. South American arapaimas, black and white pacus, and astronotus swim in a huge aquarium. Rays are not only saltwater fish: the white-dotted Xingu River ray and the Otorongo ray are species of freshwater fish. The Rivers and Lakes exhibition ends with breathtaking showcases presenting small crocodiles, flamingos and scarlet ibis.
Every aquarium is equipped with a board with photographs and some information about its inhabitants. Some boards allow visitors to manage slides in search of information appealing to them. The best time to start your tour of the museum is at 10 am, when it opens – this way, you will avoid most of the crowds.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com