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Dubai’s “The Floating Seahorse”

I spent 6 years managing various public and commercial aquarium projects in the Middle East including a number in Dubai and the surrounding Emirates. As such, I am all too familiar with Dubai’s love of designing large, unusual, and extravagant aquariums, and I can attest to the fact that some of these grand aquarium projects do get built. The newest  aquatic-themed project in Dubai is  “The Floating Seahorse” which are partially submerged homes, essentially house boats moored offshore. The Floating Seahorse homes were revealed  at the Dubai International Boat Show in March 2015 by Dubai developer Kleindienst Group. 42 of the homes are planned for construction by the end of 2016. The residences will be part of “The World”, Dubai’s largest artificial island project. Each home will have three floors: an upper deck, a main floor at sea level, and an underwater level. The underwater level includes the master bedroom and bathroom with stunning panoramic underwater views. mainMore:

Seal Hops Ride On Humpback Whale

A photo is worth a thousand words. And you have to check out this mind blowing photo of a seal catching a ride on the back of a humpback whale off the New South Wales coast in Australia. At first look, it looks like the seal is surfing or almost walking on water until you look closer._85591521_exclsealtakesarideonahumpbackwhale7More:

Reef Market: MACNA Women Edition

Jeans, a tee-shirt, and comfy shoes are my go-to uniform for MACNA during the day – I know that I’ll be on my feet for hours, and I want to be as comfortable as possible.  TOMS sneakers davana - reefsLightweight slip-ons, like these from TOMS, are perfect for the weekend. They have a ton of different colors, prints, and styles on their website, and for every shoe purchased, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. To date, they have donated over 45 million pairs of shoes, which supports improved health, access to education, and higher self esteem.… More:

Reef Kids: 3D Paper Models

happy paper sea turtle davana - reefs I love toys and games that foster teamwork, like wooden train tracks, Legos, puzzles, and even art supplies. I’ll take an experience over an object any day, and, when I am shopping for kids’ presents, I look for something that will encourage a conversation and build a memory. I came across these hyper-realistic 3D paper model kits by Happy Paper yesterday while putzing around online and daydreaming about the upcoming (might as well accept it) holidays; they would make great gifts for both children and adults. happy paper emperor penguin davana - reefsDesigned and produced in Seoul, Korea, these beautiful, life-like models are easy to assemble; the pieces are pre-cut and the instructions are very easy to follow. You just need glue and a pair of tweezers and you’re ready to go. The kits can take up to four hours to assemble, which translates to just the right amount of time for spending a cozy afternoon or evening together. As Mi gyeong, a mother from Seoul Safe says, it’s “As cute as a plush toy but more interactive for my kids.” happy paper whale shark davana - reefsThe kits are affordable – now through the beginning of September, they’re on sale for $14.99; after that, they’ll return to their (very reasonable) price of $20.00 each. And the company is committed to education and the environment – the paper is all recycled, and the toy is designed to improve a child’s spatial intelligence and awareness. Really, its one of the most perfect gifts out there!  … More:

Shedd Aquarium Lungfish Touted as Longest Kept Captive Fish

Public aquaria have been exhibiting live aquatic animals for quite some time. Amazingly, a number of institutions across the world are around centenarian age. Perhaps even more astounding is how long some of the specimens in their collections have been kept. Many creatures, in fact, that earned the distinction of being the “longest living example in captivity” are kept in public facilities. The longest living captive fish, for example, is an Australian lungfish in the care of the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. A male by the name of Granddad has been housed at the aquarium since 1933 (just in time for the World’s Fair and not very long after the aquarium’s grand opening in May of 1930). He is now regarded as an “ambassador” of the Shedd Aquarium as well as a part of the history of Chicago itself.… More:

Reef Travel: Mystic Aquarium

boomerang mystic aquarium - reefs


 The Mystic Aquarium will always hold a special place in my heart. When my children were young, we had a family membership, and I brought my crazy toddlers there at least once a week.  We marveled at the Beluga Whales, checked in with our favorite sea lion, Boomerang, who stranded himself and was rescued and returned three times before biologists declared him unreleasable, and then visited with the resident octopus, who the kids declared was named “Octi”.  From there, we’d drift from exhibit to exhibit, stopping for long conversations about the animals or installations that caught our attention. We always discovered something new. 
comb jelly mystic aquarium - reefs

comb jelly

 There is a gorgeous new exhibit up, titled “Jellies: The Ocean in Motion”, that I highly recommend seeing. As the aquarium’s website says: “From the outside, this exhibit resembles a 20-foot-tall sea nettle floating on water. Under its dome, special lighting showcases the fascinating features of six jelly species and gives the effect of being underwater. A bow-front tank provides an extra dimension of beauty, featuring hand-blown glass fish, jellies and grass created by renowned local artist Jeffery P’an of Prescient Studios in Stonington, [Connecticut].”… More:

Stunning Human Aquarium ‘Sky-Pool’

skyThe Nine Elms Development in London is going to add a 90 foot swimming pool, enclosed in glass, that will be suspended 10 stories above ground. The aquarium pool is connected between two apartment buildings. How about just swimming to your neighbors house? The aquarium pool is the creation of Irish developer Ballymore. The pool will be 9.8 feet deep, 82 feet long and 16 feet wide.… More:

World Champion Freediver Natalie Molchanova Presumed Drowned

free diver Natalia Molchanova, regarded as the World’s greatest competitive free diver, has been presumed drowned. Molchanova was teaching a private freediving lesson off the coast of Spain with friends, and had gone down for a recreational dive herself, when she didn’t come to the surface. Her friends called the authorities, who searched the surrounding area for two days with helicopters, underwater robots and boats. The authorities have stated that it is believed that Molchanova encountered a strong current while swimming down to 115 feet without fins. Molchanova was known as the ‘queen’ of freediving, and could hold her breath for up to nine minutes. At 53, born in Russia, Molchanova held an impressive 41 World records and 23 World Titles. Freedivers hold their breaths for minutes at a time, while they swim to depths of 200 feet or more on a single breath. Freediving is arguably one of the most challenging extreme sports, and requires extensive training.… More:

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