Polaria Tromso Reviews
interesting Arctic natural museum Jan 26, 2009
The polaria is housed in a striking building, resembling falling dominoes (although the intention was to resemble ice floes washing up on shore). It is a small museum dedicated to the arctic natural environment.
The museum has a small exhibit on both arctic and antarctic research, some displays on arctic explorations and an aquarium.
The Polaria's obvious prime attraction are the three resident bearded seals living in the aquarium. These three females of the seal species native to this region are being fed and trained at 12:30 and 15:30 daily.
The daily training is not done to teach them tricks or anything, but to stimulate the animals mentally. Seals are highly intelligent mammals, and they need to be challenged to keep their sanity in captivity. So during feeding times the seals are required to do some simple tricks like fetching a ball, while at the same time they receive veterinary exams.
The Polaria's aquarium has several other smaller basins, showing arctic fish, anemones and even some huge snow crabs.
The other big attraction at the Polaria is the panoramic film of Svalbard, complete with an 'arctic walk' where some of the elements of the arctic region are recreated (a polar bear lair, arctic tundra, a snowstorm, northern lights)
All in all the Polaria is an excellent place to escape the freezing Arctic wind for a few hours, definitely recommended!
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Polaria - A Walk through the Arctic Aug 27, 2009
I was in Tromsø last Tuesday and met TB friend Nino. I suggested that we visit the Polaria. Since I haven´t been there in 11 years it was nice that he wanted to join me on a new visit.
Polaria is our national showcase of polar research. It is part of the Polar Environment Centre in Tromsø. A lot of their work is aimed at schools to teach students of life in the arctic, how fragile it is and how important it is to take good care of it.
I would recommend that you start with the film "Svalbard - Arctic Wilderness". It is a 180° screen and it is filmed from a helicopter. It really gives you the feeling of flying through the valleys and along the fjords of Spitsbergen.
After you have seen the film you can stroll through the "Arctic Walk". This shows you what life in the Arctic is like. It takes you through arctic tundra, snowstorm, fog and northern light.
You also walk past tanks with fishes, crabs and sea anemones from the Barents See. The main attraction is the pool with three female bearded seals. These are the only bearded seals in captivity in the world. They were captured when they were 6 weeks old (their mothers leave them when they are 4-6 weeks old) and are kept at Polaria for educational use. An interesting thing about them is that bearded seals have exactly the same skeleton as humans, just with a longer back and shorter arms. Twice a day you can watch them being fed and trained.
Polaria is a nice way to see all these arctic animals up close. And if you have never heard of, or planned a trip to Svalbard (or Spitsbergen in English) you definitely want to go after seeing the film "Svalbard - Arctic Wilderness". Polaria is a small place, but very well made. All signs are in 3 languages; Norwegian, English and German.
I can highly recommend Polaria!
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