Christine Halterman

Written by Christine Halterman

Modified & Updated: 23 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


The National Marine Aquarium is a fascinating destination that captivates visitors with its stunning displays of marine life. Located in Plymouth, United Kingdom, this world-class facility is not only an aquarium but also a research and conservation center. With its vast collection of over 4,000 animals representing more than 400 species, it offers a unique opportunity to explore the wonders of the underwater world.

In this article, we will delve into 19 intriguing facts about the National Marine Aquarium, shedding light on its history, exhibits, and contributions to marine conservation. From the largest single-tank exhibit in the UK to its involvement in breeding endangered species, there’s so much to learn and discover about this incredible landmark. So, let’s dive in and uncover the secrets of the National Marine Aquarium!

Key Takeaways:

  • Dive into the National Marine Aquarium, the UK’s largest, to witness 4,000 ocean creatures, a 2.5-million-liter ocean tank, and interactive experiences that inspire marine conservation.
  • Immerse yourself in the wonders of the National Marine Aquarium, where you can dive with sharks, explore behind the scenes, and sleepover next to mesmerizing marine life.
Table of Contents

The National Marine Aquarium is the largest public aquarium in the United Kingdom.

With its expansive size and impressive collection of marine life, the National Marine Aquarium has rightfully earned its title as the largest public aquarium in the UK. Spanning over four floors, this aquatic wonderland houses a diverse range of species from all corners of the globe.

It is home to over 4,000 ocean creatures.

From playful penguins and majestic sharks to vibrant tropical fish and enchanting seahorses, the National Marine Aquarium boasts a remarkable collection of over 4,000 fascinating ocean inhabitants. Visitors can witness the mesmerizing beauty and diversity of marine life up close.

The aquarium features a 2.5-million-liter ocean tank.

The centerpiece of the National Marine Aquarium is its awe-inspiring 2.5-million-liter ocean tank, which replicates a vibrant coral reef ecosystem. This immersive exhibit offers visitors the chance to observe a multitude of marine species coexisting in their natural habitat.

It is a leading research and conservation center.

Beyond its role as a popular tourist attraction, the National Marine Aquarium actively contributes to marine research and conservation efforts. The facility collaborates with scientific institutions and participates in projects aimed at protecting and preserving our oceans.

The aquarium offers interactive and educational experiences.

Visitors of all ages can engage in a range of interactive and educational activities at the National Marine Aquarium. From touching a starfish to attending captivating live talks and feeding sessions, there are countless opportunities to learn and be inspired by the marine world.

You can dive with sharks inside the aquarium.

For the adventurous souls seeking an adrenaline rush, the National Marine Aquarium offers the unique opportunity to dive with sharks. Under the guidance of experienced professionals, brave individuals can swim alongside these magnificent creatures in a controlled environment.

The aquarium has partnerships with other marine organizations.

The National Marine Aquarium collaborates with various marine organizations and institutions to further its mission of conservation and education. By joining forces with like-minded entities, it strengthens its impact in raising awareness about the importance of protecting marine ecosystems.

It hosts mesmerizing live feeding demonstrations.

Witnessing the feeding frenzy of sharks, rays, and other marine species is a truly captivating experience at the National Marine Aquarium. The live feeding demonstrations provide a deeper understanding of marine feeding habits and highlight the delicate balance of life in the ocean.

The aquarium runs a successful breeding program.

Through its dedicated breeding program, the National Marine Aquarium actively contributes to the conservation of endangered species. By successfully breeding and raising marine creatures, it plays a crucial role in ensuring the survival of vulnerable populations.

The aquarium offers a variety of educational programs for schools.

The National Marine Aquarium is committed to nurturing the next generation of marine enthusiasts. It offers an array of educational programs tailored specifically for schools, allowing students to learn about marine life and ecosystem conservation in a captivating and immersive setting.

It has an impressive collection of corals.

The National Marine Aquarium houses a stunning variety of corals, showcasing their exceptional beauty and ecological significance. From colorful hard corals to delicate soft corals, these mesmerizing organisms are a testament to the delicate balance of life within coral reef ecosystems.

The aquarium features an underwater tunnel.

One of the highlights of the National Marine Aquarium is its unique underwater tunnel. Visitors can stroll through this immersive tunnel and marvel at the incredible marine life swimming above and around them, providing a truly immersive and unforgettable experience.

It offers behind-the-scenes tours.

For those eager to go beyond the surface, the National Marine Aquarium offers behind-the-scenes tours. These exclusive tours provide a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of the aquarium, offering insights into animal care, conservation efforts, and the overall operation of this remarkable institution.

The aquarium hosts special events and exhibitions.

The National Marine Aquarium regularly hosts special events and exhibitions, catering to a wide range of interests. From themed celebrations to informative exhibitions, there is always something exciting happening at the aquarium, making each visit a unique and memorable experience.

It promotes sustainable seafood choices.

The National Marine Aquarium actively promotes sustainable seafood choices and raises awareness about the impact of overfishing. By educating visitors about sustainable fishing practices, it encourages responsible consumption and helps safeguard the future of our oceans.

The aquarium offers unique sleepover experiences.

Imagine spending a night surrounded by mesmerizing marine life! The National Marine Aquarium offers unforgettable sleepover experiences, where visitors can curl up next to the underwater habitats and fall asleep to the gentle sway of the ocean.

It has a dedicated team of marine experts.

The National Marine Aquarium boasts a team of passionate marine experts who ensure the welfare and wellbeing of the aquatic inhabitants. These dedicated professionals conduct research, provide care, and share their knowledge with visitors, helping to inspire a deeper appreciation for marine life.

The aquarium offers stunning panoramic views of the Plymouth Sound.

Located on the picturesque waterfront, the National Marine Aquarium offers breathtaking panoramic views of the stunning Plymouth Sound. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of the coastal landscape while exploring the wonders of the underwater world.

It is a hub for marine conservation initiatives.

The National Marine Aquarium serves as a hub for various marine conservation initiatives, aiming to protect and preserve the delicate balance of our ocean ecosystems. Through research, education, and community engagement, it strives to make a positive impact on the future of our planet.

These 19 intriguing facts about the National Marine Aquarium only scratch the surface of the wonders that await you at this remarkable attraction. Whether you are fascinated by the diversity of marine life, passionate about conservation, or simply seeking a unique and educational experience, the National Marine Aquarium is sure to captivate your imagination and leave you with a profound appreciation for the beauty and fragility of our oceans.


The National Marine Aquarium is not only a fascinating tourist attraction but also a crucial institution for conservation and education. With its impressive collection of marine life and commitment to research, it offers visitors an immersive and educational experience like no other. Whether you’re a marine enthusiast, a family looking for a fun day out, or someone interested in understanding and protecting our oceans, the National Marine Aquarium is a must-visit destination.

By exploring the diverse exhibits, attending educational programs, and supporting their initiatives, visitors can contribute to the ongoing efforts to preserve our planet’s marine ecosystems. The National Marine Aquarium serves as a powerful reminder of the beauty and fragility of our oceans, encouraging us all to take action and make a difference.


1. What are the operating hours of the National Marine Aquarium?

The National Marine Aquarium is open every day from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, except for Christmas Day.

2. Can I buy tickets in advance?

Yes, you can purchase tickets online through the National Marine Aquarium’s website or at the entrance on the day of your visit.

3. Are there any discounts available for children or senior citizens?

Yes, there are discounted tickets available for children aged 3-15 and senior citizens aged 60 and above. Children under 3 can enter for free.

4. Is the National Marine Aquarium wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the aquarium is fully wheelchair accessible, with ramps and elevators available throughout the facility.

5. Can I bring my own food and drinks?

Outside food and drinks are not allowed inside the National Marine Aquarium. However, there is a café where you can purchase refreshments during your visit.

6. Is photography allowed inside the aquarium?

Yes, photography for personal use is permitted. However, tripods and professional photography equipment are not allowed without prior permission.

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