Saturday, April 22, 2017

uShaka Marine World, Durban

This Southern Right Wale was washed up in the Western Cape.
Its skeleton now hangs above the entrance to the Aquarium at Ushaka Marine world.

Longfin Batfish...
Usually found hidden in a Bat Cave?
I don't thing so.
This is certainly not the Dark Knight of the Indian Ocean.

Unicorn Fish...
So Unicorns DO exist?

Visitors can find the cast of both "Finding Nemo" and "Finding Dory".
These films, although not scientifically accurate are making people more aware
of our oceans and the creatures that live in them,

Pappa Sea Horse.
The only species where the father plays an active role in birthing the young.
If these are "Sea Horses" are the young called foals?

The interior of the aquarium building is designed to look like a sunken ship
and it works...

Feeding time for the Manta Rays.
Some of the smaller ones could not contain their enthusiasm,
and where gnawing on the arm of the diver.
Luckily for him the teeth are not dangerous...unless you are a fish.

Irrespective of how you feel about captive bred dolphins performing,
their shows still attract the crowds.

They do look as if they are enjoying themselves,
but I am certain that there are groups who would disagree.
At least the aquarium is using captive bred dolphins,
and are no longer actively catching wild dolphins for shows.

A Potato Bass swims slowly by...watched by a family,
almost hidden in the darkness.

My wife...reliving her childhood on one of the rides that the theme park
attached to Marine World has to offer.

Next time she wants to tackle one of the slides...

Black tipped Reef Shark.
The problem with these creatures is the bad reputation that Peter Benchley's screenplay gave them when "Jaws" hit the screens in 1975.
Years later he was to make a public apology, saying that he had combined the bad characteristics
of several species into the villain in the film version.
This "hatred" for a species was brought home when I overheard a mother, who was showing this shark to her youngster, saying "Look at the naughty, naughty shark"!
Why? It is not that the shark was trying to eat the child...
But that is how stereotypes are perpetuated, much like the fear of spiders.

Yellow Tang...
doing what Tangs do.
"Tangs for the memory"...

Lion Fish...
Years ago I used to keep marine Tropical fish,
this was one of the species that I had in my tank.
Not an easy fish to keep and I eventually gave it back to the shop that I had purchased it from.

Pineapple Fish.
A species that I have never encountered before.

A first for Ushaka...
The Nickelodeon Slime Fest was in town.
This was the winner of a competition...
the prize...to be "slimed"!

Why would a crowd knowingly pay to have squirted all over them...
and then still want to wear protective clothing.
I was reliably informed that the "slime" is both eco-friendly and biodegradable
and contains no harmful chemicals.

Sometimes I do my best thinking here.
These have been turned into seating alongside the shark tank...
Just in case the critters scare the crap out of visitors.


Next time you are in Durban, set aside some time and
 visit this awesome and educational facility.

This was a one off event, held in Durban for the very first time.
The organizers hope that it will become an annual event
 for at least the next three years.





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