The installation is a huge igloo-shaped dome that represents the Arctic zone, in which, true to these very cold latitude environments, the natural living conditions of the walruses and beluga whales are reproduced. The building recreates the environmental features of the arctic region through rocky cliffs in the case of the walruses and blocks of ice for the beluga whales.

Watch video Arctic, belugas and walruses Oceanografic

To represent this particular ecosystem the Oceanogràfic has chosen a gigantic igloo, 12m high and divided into two levels. The upper level offers a first glimpse of the two tanks that form the installation. The first tank shows a typical rocky beach from the arctic region. It holds one of the parks most emblematic animals, the walrus. The Oceanogràfic is only the second centre in Europe to contain examples of walruses, after the Dolfinarium of Harderwijk in the Netherlands. 

The second aquarium acts as a window into the icy seas. Huge themed blocks of ice make this tank the perfect habitat to house the other star of the installation, the belugas. The lower level allows us to enjoy this ecosystem and its inhabitants from close up, giving us an underwater perspective that helps us imaginatively dive into its icy waters.

In the case of the belugas, the only examples currently to be found in any European zoo, this represents a pioneering experiment in Europe, as it allows us to study a type of marine mammal whose biology is still not well known. This species is also known by the name of “Canary of the Sea” and is characterised by one of the greatest acoustic repertoires among the odontocetes (dolphins, killer whales etc.) studied so far. The aim of a research project undertaken in the installations of the Aquarium is to delve deeper into the bio-acoustic study in captivity of this animal whose beauty and personality are unique.

What you always wanted to know about...the belugas of the Oceanogràfic

The Arctic

The Arctic is a frozen sea and it is very difficult to define its area. A thick layer of ice covers its entire surface, making it look like an enormous white prairie. It has a very irregular outline, though some scientists compare it to a triangle. Scientists have tried to calculate its total area and suggest figures between 14 million and 12 million square kilometres.

The cold makes it a very special place, with winter temperatures reaching their lowest during the month of February. Though summers are also cold, temperatures are higher and cause melting of the ice.

The merging or separation of ice sheets conditions life in the northern hemisphere polar cap. As does the fact that during the summer, daylight hours get longer. In fact, the sun does not set for about six months. During this period there is perpetual daytime.  With the coming of autumn temperatures begin to fall and winter darkness takes over. There is no complete dawn