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by Alese and Morton Pechter


The Living Seas was constructed over a period of 22 months. It is 185,000 square feet of space under one roof. To create the ocean environment, 2,000 cubic yards of concrete and 900 tons of reinforcing steel were used. The walls of the aquarium are 3 feet thick. The "ocean" is 27 feet deep and is 203 feet in diameter. Liquid nitrogen was used to cool the poured concrete. Once inch of The Living Seas depth equals 17,000 gallon of water. The Life Support system prcesses water faster than the City of Orlando: 35,000 gallons a minute, with the entire 6 million gallons filtered in approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes. The rest of the building took 8,000 cubic yards of concrete and 850 tons of structural steel to build.

Guests wind though a wave-like path past model, pictures, and artifacts which depict the history of ocean diving.

A United Technologies film and slide presentation, lasting 2+ minutes, shows how the tools of technology have aided previous research and how they will similarly assist in exploration and utilization of resources from the sea.

The coral was created from man-made materials to simulate a live Caribbean coral reef.

Sixty-one acrylic windows allow guests to look out on the "ocean". The 8ft by 24ft acrylic panels in the observation module weigh 9,000 pounds each. They are the largest single casting of acrylic ever attempted. The use of acrylic ensures crystal-clear optical characteristics.

On the floor of the Seabase Alpha, the main concourse area, there is a JIM suit, ROV's, Human Powered Submarine and new underwater equipment that is constantly being designed and developed.