A theme park in Japan has received a barrage of backlash and was forced to close on Sunday for their “Ice Aquarium” skating rink where 5,000 dead fish spelled out “Hello.” According to Japan Today, the operator of Space World in Fukuoka Prefecture opened the ice rink on Nov 12, hoping to give customers the impression of skating on the sea.
The park immediately began to garner complaints citing the attraction was “cruel and disgusting” as well as “animal abuse” and as the news spread, online critics stated the fish had been frozen alive. More than 25 species of fish included sprats, large manta rays and mackerel had been purchased from a nearby fish market, embedded in the ice and suspended with their mouths open. Fish had been arranged to spell out the word “hello” while other fish were shaped as an arrow to show skaters which direction to proceed on the bizarre rink.
Space World officials have since stated the fish were not frozen alive, but were purchased and sold dead from a dealer. In order to make up for the poor choice of exhibits, officials announced on Sunday that a memorial service will be held for the dead fish next year. The park also apologized sending out the following press release on Sunday:
“We deeply apologize to people who felt uncomfortable about the ice Aquarium event. As a result we have stopped t he event from today.”
(Photos of 5,000 dead fish via screenshot from Sky News YouTube video)