Dubai Aquarium has world's largest viewing panel

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The Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centre in The Dubai Mall has laid claim as the world's largest acrylic viewing panel for an aquarium, with this record expected to be featured in the 2010 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.

The viewing panel of the Dubai Aquarium is 32.88 metres wide, 8.3 metres high and 750 mm thick, and tops the scales at a whopping 245,614 kg; the previous record holder is the Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa, Japan, at 22.5 metres wide, 8.2 metres high and 600 mm thick.

With a capacity of almost 10 million litres, the main aquarium measures 50 metres long by 17 metres wide by 11 metres tall, and houses 33,000 marine animals (including over 400 sharks and rays) representing 85 species. It also features a 270-degree walk-through tunnel.

The Dubai Aquarium has undergone some negative publicity prior to its opening last month, when the UAE daily Khaleej Times reported that sand tiger sharks (Carcharias taurus) in the display tank have killed at least 40 other reef sharks in the aquarium and display aggression towards divers, injuring them and damaging equipment.