When the sun sets and it gets dark at Central Wharf, the same effect is replicated above the Giant Ocean Tank.

And at 8 a.m. each day, the GOT’s LED lighting transitions back to daylight, during which time there is a beautiful blue hue that last for a few minutes.

The lighting system, which was part of extensive renovation work on the GOT in 2013, is designed to simulate natural lighting transitions to help maintain the rhythm of a Caribbean coral reef and ensure the well-being of the animals in the GOT. Each day at 8 a.m., the night lighting begins to transition to a sunrise as the lighting gradually changes to a blue hue and then to typical daytime lighting. During the day, the lights can be turned on and off and rotated around the tank to imitate cloud cover.

From night to sunrise to day

night lighting in Giant Ocean Tank
Night lighting for the GOT (Photos: Jake Stout)
top of the Giant Ocean Tank
Sunrise lighting
daylight lighting for the GOT
Daylight lighting
Myrtle the green sea turtle swims in the Giant Ocean Tank under a distinct blue lighting that is meant to replicate the moon
Myrtle the green sea turtle swims in the GOT at "sunrise."
Fish swim in the Giant Ocean Tank under a distinct blue lighting that is meant to replicate the moon
Fishes swim in the Giant Ocean Tank at "sunrise."

The 2013 renovation of the GOT was extensive and included some new artificial corals, larger viewing windows, an expanded dive room for the divers, a handicap-accessible ramp, and the replacement of the upper concrete perimeter with viewing glass to allow for better views into the 200,000-gallon tank. A new communication system was also added allowing a diver in the GOT to communicate with visitors gathered at the top. Every day at 2:30 p.m., a diver wears a full facemask that allows the underwater diver to hear and respond to visitors’ questions that are relayed by the educator on the platform. The diver also is equipped with a small camera, and video is fed live to the screens atop the GOT.

This blog was researched by Jake Stout, who also captured all of the amazing images of the Giant Ocean Tank featured here. He was a Boston Sea Rovers intern at the New England Aquarium. Read two other blogs by Jake and view more of his amazing photos here and here.  

More Night, Sunrise, and Day Photos

NIGHT

The GOTat night

Myrtle swims in the GOT

SUNRISE    

The GOT under a blue light simulating moonlight.

 The GOT under a blue light simulating moonlight.

The GOT under a blue light simulating moonlight.

A green moray in the GOT under a blue light simulating moonlight.

Myrtle the green sea turtle in the GOT under a blue light simulating moonlight.

DAY

visitor silhouetted agains windows

Learn more about our GOT divers