The French National Sea Centre is opening an extension in May that will make it one of the largest aquariums in the world.

The 10,000 m² extension of NAUSICAA in Boulogne-sur-Mer near Calais is built in the shape of a manta ray and was designed by Jacques Rougerie.

It houses of one the largest tanks in the world, holding a staggering 10,000 m3 of water, the equivalent of four Olympic pools. Visitors will, through various panoramic viewing angles, discover the giant aquarium which recreates the ecosystem of the high seas modelled on the island of Malpelo, off the coast of Colombia.

22,000 marine creatures will be added to the NAUSICAA community including hammerhead sharks, manta rays and shoals of fish. An 18-metre-long transparent tunnel and sub-water trench lead the way to the highlight of the extension which is a spectacular 20 x 5 metre panoramic window offering a full view of the tank and its ecosystem.

The centre’s role is to educate and encourage the general public to protect marine life for the future, the impact of resources and how they can help with marine conservation. NAUSICAA is labelled UNESCO “Centre of Excellence” due to its awareness-raising activities and achievements.