High & Dry: 8 Amazing Abandoned Aquariums
Article by Steve, filed under Abandoned Places in the Architecture category.


Recreating the sea on land is no easy task, especially when a stable and viable marine ecosystem is the crux of the plan. When things go wrong, however, the life leaves and what’s left looks especially out of place – a fish out of water as it were. These 8 amazing abandoned aquariums illustrate what happens when the artificial environments of yesterday go apocalypse now.

Coral World – Nassau, The Bahamas

(image via: Williams Family)

Coral World Bahamas is a combination aquarium and beach resort that opened in 1987. Its signature lighthouse-like tower observatory was built on an artificial island and is linked to the mainland of Nassau via an elevated causeway.

(images via: Worldnews.com and Ambertq)

Coral World suffered severe damage from Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and although the UFO-esque tower remains as an easily recognizable landmark, the cessation of any maintenance by owners Coral World International is allowing rust and weathering to inexorably take their toll.

Sea-Arama Marineworld – Galveston, Texas, USA

(images via: SixFlagsHouston Forums and Artificial Owl)

Sea-Arama Marineworld opened in 1965 and was Galveston’s most popular attraction for decades. Times change, however, and when Sea World Park opened in San Antonio the more modern facility began scooping too many of Sea-Arama Marineworld‘s potential visitors for the aging facility to remain profitable – it closed its doors for good in 1990.

(images via: Abandoned But Not Forgotten (ABNF))

Sea-Arama Marineworld was completely demolished in 2006 but thanks to the efforts of photojournalists both amateur and professional, we can appreciate the sad beauty of the former 25-acre complex as it silently molders away.

Lal Bagh Botanical Garden – Bangalore, India

(image via: Mohammed Absar)

Captured in the midst of ongoing decay in mid-June of 2010, the abandoned aquarium at the otherwise open-for-business Lal Bagh Botanical Garden in Bangalore, southern India puts on a brave front against the irresistible force of passing time. Though the garden as a whole dates back to 1760, the aquarium building is of much more recent vintage.

Saikaibashi Public Aquarium – Sasebo, Japan

(images via: Tee-Photo and Abandoned Kansai)

The Saikaibashi Public Aquarium opened sometime in the mid-1960s and operated for about 30 years. Its remains can be found in the city of Sasebo, near Nagasaki in western Japan.

(images via: Forbidden Kyushu)

The two-story aquarium was anything but grandiose – passage between the two levels was via stairs, not an elevator or escalator – but it did boast a four times daily dolphin show.

(image via: Forbidden Kyushu)

The aquarium’s decaying remnants are surprisingly free from graffiti though most of the building’s windows have been broken. Considering the area’s humid summer climate and frequent summer storms it’s probable the Saikaibashi Public Aquarium will be taken over by mold and mildew unless a demolition crew doesn’t demolish it first.

Old Cleveland Aquarium – Cleveland, Ohio, USA

(images via: Realbruts! and What My Eyes Have Seen)

Overshadowed by the Greater Cleveland Aquarium that’s housed in a fully renovated abandoned power plant, the old Cleveland Aquarium was a modest structure free of bells and whistles.

(images via: Kingtycoon and Mobius Faith Imaging)

The elderly brickwork building was used for police K9 training for a time after the aquarium closed but both cops and dogs have hightailed it outta there as well.

Dolphin Island – Okinawa, Japan

(images via: 28DaysLater)

Dolphin Island, or “Hiikuu Island” in half-Japanese is located a stone’s throw off the coast of Okinawa. When the surprisingly large restaurant/aquarium was built several decades ago a causeway was constructed to provide easy access. Nowadays any intrepid explorers must wade across at low tide – stay too long and you’ll be spending the night alone with only spiders and fire ants for company!

(image via: Gakuran)

The remnants of Dolphin Island‘s small aquarium can be found within the forlorn building; all of the tanks (and their occupants) are long gone however.

It’s not known why the place’s owners saw the need for an above-ground aquarium when the surrounding waters are a scuba-diver’s paradise but maybe that’s one reason the island is deserted today.

Abandoned Water Park – Dead Sea, Israel/Jordan

(image via: Foto8)

The frequency of tourism to Israel’s border regions may be described as boom or bust… the former typically leading to the latter. It’s not certain why the colorful water park complex above gave up the ghost in 2010 but lets just say the life preserver at the bottom of the pool had no takers.

Atlantis Marine Park – Two Rocks, Australia

(images via: Tumblr, Crafted By Ben and Escobar.ID.AU)

Japan’s Tokyu Corporation had high hopes when they opened the Atlantis Marine Park in December of 1981. Located in the small town of Two Rocks a few miles north of Perth, the park encompassed 14 hectares (more than half of them artificial lakes) and boasted an Oceanarium, a Seal Pool, a Dolphin Pool and a Children’s Adventure Park. Six dolphins were caught nearby and three more were born at the park in 1988.

(image via: Tumblr)

Thought the dolphins liked Atlantis Marine Park enough to start settling down and producing offspring, the Australian government had a few issues – mainly, the park’s dolphin tank was now too small and would have to be expanded or a larger one built.

(images via: WAtoday and Tumblr)

Faced with an expensive renovation bill and mindful of declining profits, Tokyu Corporation decided to cut their losses, release their dolphins and close the park. Old King Neptune was/is not amused though appearances may indicate otherwise.


(image via: EnglishRussia)

Several sources state the Russian building above is an abandoned children’s summer camp building, not an abandoned aquarium. You’ve gotta love the design, whatever it is, even in its currently decrepit state. When Great C’thulhu and his minions finally awake and reclaim their old stomping grounds, this is what it’s gonna look like.

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