Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shark Diving at the Busan Aquarium

Here's what I'm going to call a photo tour of the Busan aquarium and the adventures my two friends and I had there.

You could pay to have a ride on this glass bottom boat.  It road over the shark tank I would dive in later.  How strange, right?  A boat in an aquarium.

Giant Japanese spider crabs have always freaked me out a little.  They were included in my Dangerous Creatures CD-Rom encyclopedia.  They always looked so unearthly and creepy.  Maybe even dangerous.  I'm sure you can see how this one's just edging to rip the kid's face off.

What's scarier than giant Japanese spider crabs?
Just a little lower on the scary scale than great whites and megaladons, but definitely worse than giant clams and stone fish.

I was impressed by the Busan aquarium's charming exhibits.

The sea anemones had a fanciful display. 

Me and my soon-to-be BFF!
With the Scuba in Korea shark dive program, we paid 110,000 (about $106) each to suit up and go under with these guys.

Inflatable pets were available for purchase at the trinket shops inside the aquarium.

I love rays.
My favorite animal is the manta ray, and the hammerhead shark is second.  Being around these guys was a dream come true.

We love each other!We got to swim with leopard sharks, sand tiger sharks, spotted eagle rays, black something rays, giant grouper, white tipped reef sharks, black tipped reef sharks, leopard sharks, and behind partitions were finless porpoises,  green sea turtles, and a beautiful hammerhead.

Heading into the Staff Only section on the way to our dive, we saw this giant sea horse.  He looks fake, doesn't he?  How wild!

Suited up for the dive!
We had a skill practicing time in a shallow part of a tank.  We worked on putting in our regulators, taking them out underwater and putting them back in, using the diving signals, and not being afraid with this whole breathing-underwater thing.  The thought of swimming with sharks hadn't scared me once this whole time, but once I was in the shallow tank, I realized that I wasn't looking forward to breathing underwater and not being able to talk and scream if I needed to.  Yikes!

I don't have any pictures of during the dive, but this my friend Lindsay and I after our dive, happy and exhilarated.
Everything was completely fine!  None of the animals touched me (and we weren't allowed to touch them).  When I was finally in the water and breathing fine, I calmed down and got to enjoy everything.  It was cool having the other aquarium-goers taking pictures and lighting up when I waved the peace sign at them.  But my favorite part was sitting on the bottom of the tank and soaking everything in.  Getting to look up and see the animals floating and flying, it was so peaceful and so free.  I had no idea it would be so lovely and restful.  This makes me want to try diving in the real waters.

These are the shark teeth we found.  We were allowed and encouraged to look for them in the tank and to pick up as many as we found.  Our guide, Michael, said that my friend Lindsay was like the shark teeth whisperer.  She found 5!  I found one.

I'm so glad I went, guys!  While in Busan, we also hit up Haeundae Beach, New Philly Church's Seaside campus, some American style food, and a sweet hostel called Indy House.  It was a cool time and it was great to get out of the big city, but my favorite time was resting in the shark tank.  No pressure, no responsibility, just pure wonder and peace.


  1. 1. Way cool! Are there pictures of you inside the tank?
    2. How brave - I don't think I'd have the courage to do that - water creatures freak me out. Which brings me to...
    3. You're afraid of octopi, too! Those things freak me out. I had this weird dream about a squid once, which didn't help (they look similar enough that I link them together when it comes to my fears)

  2. looks like so much fun! Aquariums are my favorite:)

  3. Scout- My friend Jason who went in the tank with us had a camera, but he hasn't put up the pictures yet. Another diver also had a video recorder. He says he should put up the video soon. I'll definitely post the pictures here when they're up!
    Octopi are from the pits of horror. I feel the same when I see squid is for lunch.

    Josie- I love aquariums, too! I'm glad I'm not the only one, because I haven't found many others who could spend an hour in front of one tank.


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