Places to Visit in Scotland
- Deep Sea World
With over 400,000 visitors a year, Deep Sea World is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland. It is located in North Queensferry in Fife, just off the M90 motorway after it has crossed over the river Forth.
The facility is tucked under the distinctive shape of the Forth Rail Bridge and was created from the site of an abandoned quarry in 1992. The underground aquarium is supplied with fresh seawater from the tidal estuary of the river Forth.
In addition to providing entertainment, Deep Sea World also gets involved in conservation and has had success in breeding Smooth Hound Sharks, probably the first time that this threatened species has been bred in captivity.
The initial section of Deep Sea World consists of a series of aquaria with a number of different types of fish and other creatures - including the sea urchin illustrated here.
There are also a series of rock pools with staff on hand providing information and answering questions. These presenters encourage visitors to touch some of the creatures such as the star fish and crabs - while they carefully avoid stepping on the flatfish resting on the foot of the pools.
The educational aspect of Deep Sea World is continued with a room devoted to the life cycle of the frog - from spawning to tadpole to adults living on the land with a variety of different types on display.
The highlight of Deep Sea World, however, is the large aquarium with a Perspex walkway so that visitors can view the fish above and to the side. Amongst the range of fish are sharks - which do not attack the other creatures around them because they are regularly fed by the staff. There are regular feeding times and staff swim through the aquarium popping tit-bits into the mouths of passing fish while a presenter gives a running commentary and answers questions.
One fish which gets fed only once a week is the South American piranha (see below) - they are kept in their own tank just in case they get hungry between feeds!
If you are feeling hungry yourself, there is a cafeteria which overlooks the water which now fills the former quarry and has the Forth Rail Bridge looming overhead. There is also a souvenir shop with suitably aquatically themed items on sale.
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