This Chattanooga attraction opened May 1, 1992, as the first major freshwater life center in the world dedicated to the understanding, conservation, and enjoyment of rivers. The exhibits guide visitors on a journey from the Tennessee River’s source in the Appalachian Mountains, through its midstream, to the Mississippi Delta, and on to the great rivers of the world in Africa, South America, Siberia, and Asia.
The journey takes visitors through living environments that accurately re-create the habitats of over 7,000 fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and insects that rely on the river for survival. Visitors leave the Tennessee Aquarium with a new appreciation of the world around them and the animals that inhabit their own backyard.
Just as the Tennessee Aquarium allows visitors to see below the surface, the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater takes viewers from miles above the earth to the depths of the sea. The 3D Theater, one of only fourteen in the world, opened in May 1996, and is a natural extension of the educational environment guests experience in the Aquarium.
The IMAX Center also features the Tennessee Aquarium Environmental Learning Lab, which uses advanced computer, video, distance learning, and multimedia technologies to teach about the environment. This unique educational center blends high-tech programs with hands-on learning for children and adults to learn about the global environment. It is the first learning center in the country to integrate science programs of a major aquarium and IMAX 3D theater.