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Unusual Aquariums


Dairy Queen Aquarium

Dairy Queen Aquarium

Shirlie L Sharpe
During a cross country road trip I came across the most unusual place I've ever seen an aquarium. Seeking a place to satisfy my sweet tooth, I stopped at a Dairy Queen and was stunned to find a freshwater aquarium at the counter.

While waiting for my ice cream I made a mental list of all the unusual aquarium styles and locations I've seen or read about. How many of these have you seen?

Unusual Aquarium Shapes
Rectangular was the shape of every tank I had as a kid. Throw in a round goldfish bowl, and that sums up aquarium shapes for quite a few decades. Not so anymore. Tanks are curved, and every shape in the book. Some even have holes in them. Some of the unusual aquarium shapes, that are now considered the norm include:
  • Bow-front
  • Concave
  • Elliptical
  • Cylindrical
  • Pentagon
  • Hexagon
  • Corner
  • L shaped
Unusual Aquarium Uses
Aquariums originally were pretty straightforward - they were designed to house fish. In the late 50s my father created a highly unusual aquarium setup at the time. He built a stand that went from floor to ceiling, dividing the entry from the rest of the living room.

The upper portion of the stand/divider was a frosted pane encircled by a custom made neon blue light that was lit around the clock. In the middle was an enclosure that held a 55 gallon tank, with a hand carved panel framing the tank front. Tucked safely in a recessed opening below the tank was an area that held books. Small semi-circular shelves on the side of the stand provided my mother a place to display her favorite knickknacks.

It was considered quite progressive in those times, but I doubt it would get a second glance now. Aquariums haven't just changed shape, they've changed function. Entire niche industries have sprung up, based on aquariums that also serve as as furniture. Among them are:
  • Coffee and end table aquariums
  • Dining table aquariums
  • Lamp aquariums
  • Desk aquariums
  • Sofa aquariums
  • Wall hanging aquariums
  • Aquarium sinks and bathtubs
  • Aquarium toilets (yes, they make them)
  • Aquarium computers
  • Aquarium toys
  • Aquarium watches
Unusual Aquarium Locations
Aquariums used to be something primarily seen at home and the occasional Doctor or Dentist office. There are still plenty of medical offices with aquariums, but now they've branched off into all sorts of other businesses. Don't be surprised if you find aquariums in:
  • Spas
  • Restaurants
  • Department stores
  • Shopping malls
  • Grocery stores
  • Bus stops
  • Churches
Heck, if you go to Herculaneum Missouri you'll even find a Diary Queen with an aquarium. That ranks as the most unusual aquarium location I've run into, what's yours?

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