July 24, 2010 | Tips from Travellers >
Find more information about Vancouver - Attractions
View a larger image on flickr.com
Sleeping next to beluga whales sounds like something out of a fantasy, but it’s possible at the Vancouver Aquarium.
Our group arrived at the aquarium just after it had closed to the public, and we met our guides for the night. We first got to experience the aquarium behind-the-scenes, seeing it in ways that visitors usually do not.
While the visitors get to see the tanks and exhibits in all their glory, on the other side of the window a lot of work is required to maintain them. We saw how the animals were fed, their habitats cleaned, and how vets made sure that all animals were in good health.
After our tour it was time to settle in for the night, and we set up camp right in front of the beluga habitat. While humans may aspire to get a good night’s sleep, whales can only sleep for a few minutes at a time, after which they have to surface and breathe. But hey, sleep-wise it still beats the dolphins, who are conscious breathers and therefore can never sleep (rather, they “shut off” one half of their brain at a time and rest that way).
After this unique opportunity to sleep next to the whales, we packed up in the morning and were out of the aquarium just before it opened its doors again for a day of education visitors about marine life. But after spending a night there, you know that, just like the belugas, the Vancouver Aquarium is never asleep for long.
Roam plenty and roam safely,
Photo credit: Vancouver AquariumEditor's note: Learn more about the Vancouver Aquarium here.