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Impossible Fish Tank

I don't know how this fish tank works exactly, but from what I could understand, the tank on top that joins the adjacent tanks works as a vacuum. The result is that there are feeding holes in the side of the tank, and the water does not flow out. I could not wrap my mind around this technology, but it works.
The fish were swimming between the side tanks over the tunnel. The smarter fish would swim across to the side where we were giving them shrimp.
As you can see, the water stays within the half bowls that are affixed to the side of the tank.
You would think that the water would come gushing out, but it doesn't. In the words of Arthur C. Clarke, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from Magic.". Yup.
These are all fish that you can find off of the coast of Oita.
This guy got a little carried away and jumped out of the tank. He was delicious!
A brightly colored wrasse goes after some krill and misses. Not the most coordinated fish in the tank...
This rockfish was by far the most tenacious fish in the tank. He boxed out all of the other fish, until he had his fill.
The squirrel fish was a bit harder to lure out.
A trigger fish takes his time, and grazes on a shrimp buffet.
This is my favorite picture of the lot. Puffers, box fish, and cowfish all make me happy for some reason. They're such goofy fish, and tough to boot.

Comments (18)

incredible!!! is that the same marine centre that houses the sunfish???


Yeah, this tank is in the Oita Marine Center, along with the sea turtles and sunfish. Definitely worth a visit if you travel through Oita.


Me too, I love the puffers and square-bodied fish because they have such happy, goofy personalities!
I am so happy that puffers are small fish because after my pet puffer took a nip out of my finger, I had bad dreams of giant puffers coming after me in the ocean! What a bad way to go!


Cobgratulations, you have been Farked! Great photos and idea.

Meanwhile, the idea is not necessarily magical. By pulling a vacuum in the tank, they are reducing the pressure such that it is @ equal to the atmospheric pressure on the water in the half-bowls. As long as the pressure on either side of the water is equal, the water will have no reason to move, either way.

Phil E. Drifter:

It's because there is no air above the water in the sealed tank, therefore the negative pressure it would create is keeping the water from flowing out of the holes in the side.

a guy:

It's the same technology that makes your boring office water cooler work, just taken to an extreme.


The tank works through pretty simple physics - water sinks in air, and air rises through water. Since the holes in the tank are below water, air cannot enter them (we must assume the rest of the tank is air- and water-tight). You can do the same thing at home with a pint glass and a sink full of water. Let all the air out of the glass, and pull it upside down out of the water - you'll pull water up in it until the lip of the glass breaks the surface of the water in the sink.


The reason the water doesn't come out is because the tanks are sealed at the top. Works the same as a barometer.


I likesis the puffa fish x


What I'm curious about though is how did they fill it?


have some fun, stick a straw half way in...


Yes, I'm curious about the filling of it, and maintenance... (for instance, someone has to go in the tank to clean it at some point)


All you need to do is seal the feeding holes and have a hatch at the top that is air-tight when it's closed...



???What if the power goes out???


I dunno...there sure is a lot of water on the floor in the second picture. I have a feeling "accidents" are common.

Bring this to the Zoo so kids can pet the fish?


i think that is a realy good idea nice.

What an amazing public aquarium

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