While “electronic gills” might not help you spend an evening beneath the waves, this 360 degree aquarium abode from AirBnB and the Aquarium de Paris certainly will! All you have to do to land a one night, 35-shark stay in the underwater bedroom is enter and win their free contest.
The first question on our minds was, “is this going to be stressful for the sharks?” It might look invasive, but the structure will be built into the tank long before any human insomniacs take up shop, and aquarium staff will be on hand throughout the event. “My instinct is that it’s not that big a deal,” says University of Miami shark biologist David Shiffman. “Sharks in aquariums seem to (mostly) deal fine.”
Despite their fearsome reputations, some sharks, like hammerheads, are extremely sensitive animals. But the the jawsome inhabitants of the indo-pacific tank (mostly blacktip reef sharks, grey reef sharks, and whitespotted bamboo shark sharks) are not only relatively hardy species, but also have become well-accustomed to the presence of aquarium visitors.
California State University shark biologist Dr Christopher Lowe agrees. “I don’t think the captive sharks will care about people sleeping nearby, but they might enjoy a show. Wouldn’t that be a switch – sharks watching people go at it, instead of the other way around. That sort of thing could scar a poor young shark for life!” Keep it PG, people. For the sharks.
On that note, there are also some house rules in place to ensure the experience is as pleasant as possible for everyone involved. (Sorry, no photos after dark!)
In addition to marine life, the winners will sleep (or more likely not sleep, because, squee) surrounded by three million liters (nearly 800,000 gallons) of water. Record-setting free diver Fred Buyle and an aquarium biologist will guide you through a nighttime behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium, and offer a glimpse into the unseen lives of the ocean’s most misunderstood top predators.
Entries, which must be submitted by 11:59 pm Central on April 03, 2016, will be judged based on creativity, spirit, and originality. The judges want to know why you belong sleeping with the fishes. Not local? No worries, AirBnB is prepared to fly winners into Paris! So get your shark-loving essays in stat.