Friday, July 23, 2010

FAQ: How do the rocks float?

Looking at the penguin exhibit from above, it may look like the six islands are floating in the water. How can that be?!

Penguin islands as seen from above

The islands are actually not floating. Each one is attached to several pedestals that connect it to the floor. Watch this video to see the pedestals that hold up the penguin islands.

The islands were crafted by the Aquarium’s Design Department of fiberglass, like the coral in the Giant Ocean Tank. Each island is hollow below and staff can enter through an opening in the back.

You can see the openings in the back of the islands, hidden from visitors' view

This allows us storage space out of the sight of the visitors and the ability to clean the underside of all islands. Staff can access each penguin burrow using a hidden sliding door beneath the little blue and African penguin islands.

Caves inside the rock islands

Cleaning under the islands

We occasionally find younger penguins hanging out under the islands, too.

Young little blues hanging out under their island

- Andrea

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