Coming up next on Jonathan Bird’s Blue World, Jonathan dives the largest aquarium in the world and comes face-to-face with its largest inhabitant–the whale shark! Hi, I’m Jonathan Bird and
welcome to my world! ( ♪ music ) The whale shark is the largest
fish in the sea. And it would
take an enormous aquarium to hold a whale shark. I’m here
at the Georgia Aquarium, the
largest aquarium in the world, but they don’t have a whale
shark….they have four! The Georgia Aquarium is one of
the worlds most spectacular. It
houses exhibits ranging from coral reefs to kelp
forests, salt water to fresh
water, warm water to cold water, and just about everything in
between. But there is no doubt that the
6.3 million gallon Ocean
Voyager exhibit is the most
impressive part of the Georgia Aquarium.
It’s as deep as a three story
building and the main viewing window is larger than a movie
theatre screen, creating a
fantastic place to sit and watch the fish go by. I enjoy the bubble window where
I can relax and watch the
sharks! There is also a tunnel through
the Ocean Voyager so people can
walk underneath the marine life, which includes some of nature’s
most magnificent animals like
manta rays and whale sharks. Keeping manta rays and whale
sharks in captivity is
difficult. First of all, these
are huge animals! Mantas grow larger
than a car, and whale sharks
larger than a bus! So they need a lot of space. But they pose
another interesting challenge
as well—both are filter feeders. In the wild they strain their
planktonic food by swimming
with an open mouth and capturing small animals from the water on
their gill rakers. In an aquarium, there is no
plankton. Aquarists had to
train the animals for hand
feeding. To learn how they feed the
mantas, I make my way to the
top of the Ocean Voyager
exhibit, a nearly football field-sized
fish tank! There I meet Chris
Coco, the curator of zoological operations. CHRIS: We will be staging here
and this is where we’re going
to jump and help us load the ladle. He introduces me to biologists
Christy Ihlo and Kelly Maples,
the aquarists who are going to show me how to feed the
mantas. JONATHAN: Alright CHRIS: This is Christy and
Kelly. JONATHAN: Hi nice to meet you. CHRIS: Jonathan Bird. JONATHAN: I’m Jonathan, nice
meeting you. CHRIS: These two are the
biologist up that work the
animals everyday. JONATHAN: You guys are lucky. The mantas are fed a
combination of krill and small
fish from a ladle. Since the mantas can’t swim in
place, they have to be fed
while they swim by gently
ladling the food out in front of their
mouths. JONATHAN: Wow fantastic. Here
we go. Fill it up? About that
much? That’s good. Excellent. After observing a few times,
now it’s my turn to try! JONATHAN: Okay. Then you just
trickle it out? CHRIS: “The key is to not dump
too soon. She’s going to stick
with you and stick with the ladle so.” JONATHAN: Little more or is
that enough? Umm I am a little
nervous! There’s all these people watching I don’t want to
mess it looks so easy, up but I
know it’s not KELLY: The one thing we do ask.
Though… The one thing it can
be a little difficult when you get a little water
when you go try to keep the
ladle out in front of her. She gets kind of moving fast, it is
possible to kind of hit her in
the face with the ladle. JONATHAN: How’s that? All
right! Whew! Thank you very
much. Thank you so much! That
was cool. How many people get to do
that? I got to feed a manta
ray! That is so cool! Feeding the whale sharks is
even more complicated. It
involves the aquarists using
small boats to keep ahead of the moving
whale sharks. This is like a precision ballet
of whale shark feeding. These
ropes go all the way across the tank and each aquarist has
to pull themselves along in a
boat, scooping out the food,
staying just ahead of the whale shark,
but what’s really amazing is
that each whale shark gets a different diet, so they are
only feeding one particular
shark, and the sharks are
trained to only follow one particular
boat. The best part of it is
nobody bumps into each other, it’s amazingly well
orchestrated and I really can’t
imagine how long it took to
train the sharks to do this. While I get the bird’s eye view
of the feeding from above, the
aquarium visitors get the fish eye view from below in the
tunnel with the sharks feeding
directly overhead. If feeding these animals looks
a little complicated, imagine
how hard it was to get them
here! It all started in Taiwan, where
the sharks are hunted for food.
The Georgia Aquarium teamed up with a local
fisherman to capture a live
whale shark. Once they had it
in a pen, they transferred it to a
specially-made sling. Then it
was transferred into a custom tank with life support for an
overseas flight. Finally the
shark was flown on a private
charter across the Pacific all the way
to Atlanta, where it was driven
to the aquarium. It’s quite a journey for a shark! Given how expensive and
difficult it is to get whale
sharks all the way to the
Georgia Aquarium, the staff isn’t
taking any chances when it
comes to their care. The rooms where food is
prepared are nearly as clean as
operating rooms. And the water quality is
constantly monitored. I spend
some time down in the pump room
with John Masson, the assistant
manager of life support. JONATHAN: John, this place is
huge. Tell me about these pumps. JOHN: Well, here at the Georgia
Aquarium we have about thirty
six 15HP pumps on this side of room, thirty four 25hp pumps
on the other side. Which means
we pump about 140 thousand gallons a minute through this
room, which is enough to turn
over 6.3 million gallons in under an hour. JONATHAN: So you can pump the
entire exhibit’s 6.3 millions
gallons in 1 hour? JOHN: Yeah we actually can. It
equivalent of one of these pump
can actually fill a swimming pool in about 15 minutes. Which
is about 30,000 gallons, so
each about 2,000 gallons per
minute. JONATHAN: WOW!! That’s a lot of
water JOHN: It’s a lot of water. JONATHAN: I notice there are no
leaks. JOHN: We try to minimize all
our leaks at least. Yes. JONATHAN: Good plumbing! JOHN: Yeah. It’s nice. Now you might be wondering, if
you’re in Atlanta Georgia and
you want to have 6.3 million gallons of ocean water, what do
you do? Well, Instant
Ocean…gigantic bags of
powdered sea salt and minerals—mix it
with fresh water and you have
got ocean! And I’m about ready to try
diving in this inland ocean, so
I head upstairs for my briefing with divemaster Devon Fleming. DEVON: Alright so basically
once we get down here we’ll get
you guys get set up in the locker room. We’re going to
throw in the dock and move your
gear down there. It’s also basically valet diving. So
once we get done with the
briefing, you guys are going to get changed and head down to
the dock. Put your fins, mask,
and gloves on. We get your gear put on for you guys
and ask then you guys to do a
forward roll into water once your divemaster clears you to
go. While I go and get my gear on,
they put the dock into the
water. They don’t leave it in all the time because the
animals might injure themselves
on it. Now, the moment I have been
waiting for all day! JONATHAN: Oh look they give me
sign so I won’t mistake my gear
for anyone else’s. You know what’s interesting about this
is they don’t want to get any
containments into the exhibits, so they don’t want us to even
use our own dive gear. We have
to use wetsuits from the aquarium. A BC, regulator
everything. They where real
nice though and let me use my
own fins, but first we had to put
them into disinfectant so they
are now extremely clean. Yeah
they won’t hurt you at all. JONATHAN: Can I go in now? OFF CAMERA VOICE: Yes you may. Okay, let’s go check it out.
There’s a whale shark right
under me!! That’s pretty cool! Before I even have my camera, a
whale shark swims silently
right below the dock. It’s hard to believe I’m in a giant
fish tank with a whale shark! ANNOUNCEMENT FROM UNDERWATER
SPEAKER: Welcome to the World’s
Largest Aquarium. Enjoy your dive and tour with Devon and
five or six thousand of your
favorite friends. On the bottom, a Great
Hammerhead comes over to check
me out! I follow Devon down towards the
deep end of the exhibit, and
Tallulah the manta ray swims over to say hello. Soon I pass over the tunnel
with lots of people inside.
They are looking up at me and I
can’t help but think how lucky I am
to be able to do this dive. I
wave to the kids and keep moving with Devon to the deep
part of the exhibit. A whale shark, with a school of
jacks keeping him company swims
over me. The whale sharks move around the huge tank in
circles and figure eights. They
are used to the divers and don’t mind us at all. There is so much marine life in
this exhibit that sometimes I
forget I’m doing a dive in an aquarium. My camera moves
from whale shark, to Great
Hammerhead. Then on to Nandi, the other manta ray, doing
barrel rolls. Then back to
another hammerhead. Through the enormous viewing
window, the crowd watches the
action—a sand tiger shark
passing right in front of the glass. The experience is almost
overwhelming. It would take
quite a few dives to get used to this! I just can’t believe my
eyes—there are so many fish! On the bottom, a sawfish
catches my attention. This is a
kind of ray with a saw-like nose for hunting prey. I have never
even seen one of these in the
wild but they have nearly a dozen of them in this exhibit. One of Aquarium staff divers
peacefully enjoys a sand tiger
shark lazily drifting by. In spite of their fierce-looking
teeth, these sharks are no
threat to people. They eat
smaller prey. Soon my dive nears the
end. On our way back to the shallow
end of the exhibit, I pass once
again over the tunnel with the people looking up. And
Tallulah buzzes by again as if
to bid me farewell. Devon gives me the signal to
head to the surface. It was
such a short dive…I don’t know if I can bring myself to
getting out of the water. I have never been on a dive
with so many species of fish. I
don’t even know where to point my camera. I’ve got to go back
in. Maybe they won’t notice if I
stay just a little while
longer. This is one dive I just don’t want to end. ( ♪ music )

100 thoughts on “Georgia Aquarium (HD) | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD

  1. That Aquarium Looks So Cool and Beautiful, I Really Want To Go So I Could Swim With The Whale Sharks, Manta Rays and Other Creatures, ?

  2. hi jonothan if u see this i love ur vids and its my dream to be like u 🙂

    Edit thanks so much for the heart I am realy happy that you saw this

  3. I’m glad I live in Georgia! I love this acuarium so much! I really enjoy all its marine biology! And the whale sharks and the mantarays are just a sight to see!

  4. Spent the night here when I was in Girl Scouts! This is one of my favorite places in the world! I went behind the scenes and saw how they feed them and how they knew what color was their’s! Awesome!?

  5. I’m taking a scientific diving class in college and we get the option to go on this dive! Watching this video made me even more excited to go!

  6. My family and I went here, and it was spectacular! Would deffinetly reccomend this to anybody who likes the ocean!

  7. Just visited here and saw the whale sharks from above surface on the behind the scenes tour. Unreal what I got to see for an additional $15.00. Only $15.00

    Well in 2020, Georgia will have their 2 million gallon shark exhibit complete making them by far, largest in the world.

  8. I WENT THERE TOO!!!By the way I love you!!You are one of my favorite youtubers in the whole world!!!????

  9. It continually astonishes me how utterly massive life can grow to in the ocean. Guess that’s what happens when you’re built for living in water: gravity just isn’t that big a concern.

  10. So wait…….we boycott sea world for taking wild animals and put them in captivity. But yet we just saw the goergia aquarium go to Taiwan and pay a fisherman to lure and help capture a wild whale shark to put into captivity…..?

  11. Wow that's great Jonathan!
    Try to visit Donsol Sorsogon in the Philippines lots of that we called it Butanding ?

  12. Trying to get there to do the dive in September or October. Can’t wait… diving Turks and St. Thomas in about a week.

  13. Reporter: They were really nice and they let me use my own fins, they got dipped in disinfectant and are very clean
    :meanwhile he proceeds to lick them

  14. My son (4 year old) and I love your show! We watch a video a night during bedtime routine and always enjoy them and learn something! Thank you for making such great family friendly content for us to enjoy : )

  15. Hey! I’m so glad that I found this channel! I’m getting my open water scuba certification and I cannot wait to do this! Im so nervous! Any suggestions/tips?!

  16. Sharks that are in there
    Zebra shark
    Sand tiger shark
    Wobbegong shark
    Whale shark
    Shark ray
    Saw shark
    Hammerhead shark
    Shovel nose shark

  17. I been to the ocean tank and above it. I got to touch the fin of a whale shark and also go to see the pump room and there is a lab off to the side that breeds seahorses.

  18. Can someone tell me why they have WHALESHARKS in an aqarium!!! THATS INSANE!!!!!!!! THEY SHOULD BE IN THE OCEAN!!!!!

  19. Wowww…What A Gigantic Aquarium…@Wan From Bagan Lalang Shore Of Malaysia 2019….What A Fish Place

  20. It was nice how the aquarium allowed you to experience such an event.
    What a beautiful place to raise and care for those creatures.

    Thank you for getting such examples organized.

    Your way seems clean and organized.

    I like how you express your points of interest.

    Your videos are great!
    Thank you so much.

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