While in Chicago, one would be
wise to spend a day or two at the Museum Campus Chicago. Museum Campus Chicago houses three of the United
States most popular museums: The Shedd Aquarium, The Adler Planetarium, and the Field
The John G. Shedd Aquarium opened on May 30, 1930. Today, The Shedd Aquariumaccommodates, roughly, 2 million visitors
annually. Intriguing guests can witness 1500 species of wildlife including: fish, birds, snakes, amphibians,
insects, and marine mammals in this enormous 422,000 square foot facility.
Between December 1929 and May 1930, 1 million gallons of salt water and a countless number of sea life was railed
in from the Florida Keys, aboard a custom built Pullman train car named the Nautilus. For 27 years, between 1930
and 1957 the Nautilus carried live fishand salt water to the Shedd
Aquarium. The Nautilus was a technical achievement for Pullman Car Works in Chicago, as it was custom fitted with tanks, pumps, air compressors, electric
refrigeration and steam heat.
The Nautilus II, the predecessor of the original Nautilus was retired and donated to the Monticello Railway Museum just outside of Champaign, IL.
Today’s permanent exhibits: Amazon Rising, Caribbean Reef, Waters of the World, the Oceanarium and Wild Reef give
The Shedd Aquarium reasearchers and its 2 million annual visitors aunique awareness and education about marine
life and the delicacy of its environment .
The Amazon Rising is an 8,600 square foot exhibit that gives its visitors a unique glimpse of the Amazon ecosystem
in a mock up of a true Amazon Basin. The excursion starts in the low-water season. Where the water level is low and
continues through the rainy season where the water rises above 6 feet. During their adventure, visitors may observe
such creatures, such as, as the enormous Goliath bird eating spiders; this spider can grow into the size of a
dinner plate, or the green anaconda, Crocodiles, and stingrays. All together, The Amazon Rising is home to 250
species of wildlife.
Visitors at the Caribbean Reef exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium are confronted 5 times a day (during feeding) by at
diver that interacts with both the animals and the visitors. This tankholds 90,000 gallons of water and contains
70 species of animals.