Sea Life London Aquarium

The Sea Life London Aquarium is located on the ground floor of County Hall on the South Bank of the River Thames in central London, near the EDF Energy London Eye. It first opened in March 1997 as the London Aquarium and remains the capital’s largest collection of aquatic species and hosts about one million visitors each year.

In 2005, the aquarium displayed three robotic fish created by the computer science department at the University of Essex. The fish were designed to autonomous, swimming around and avoiding obstacles like real fish. Their creator claimed that he was trying to combine “the speed of tuna, acceleration of a pike, and the navigating skills of an eel.”

In April 2008, the aquarium was purchased by the world’s second-largest attractions operator, Merlin Entertainments for an undisclosed sum. The facility was closed for major refurbishments at a cost of £5 million, which were completed in April 2009. Among the additions included a new underwater tunnel, Shark Walk, revamped Pacific Ocean tank and a complete rerouting of the exhibit, all of which were carried out under the supervision of architects Kay Elliott. The attraction officially became a Sea Life Centre when it reopened in April 2009.

In May 2011, the aquarium opened a new penguin exhibit, with 8 gentoo penguins that were transferred from the Edinburgh Zoo.

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