Planet Shark! Predator or Prey?

Ok so I know this is a nail polish blog but I like to blog about other things too sometimes, although this post does have a swatch. Watch out for it!

I went to the Planet Shark exhibit at the Singapore Science Centre yesterday, and I was super excited about it because as you guys know, I love ocean-y things, fishies, and that includes sharks. I’m not sure if flash photography was allowed, but a lot of the other visitors were snapping pictures left and right so I went ahead with it anyway!

The exhibit was smaller than I’d expected, because the science centre had only dedicated one of their annexes to the showcase, from Australia. When I went in, it was pitch dark with blue tonal lighting, which added to the creep factor. I was too excited to be scared. On to the pictures!

I TOUCHED IT.

I touched a lot of things unsupervised, as you would see later on in the picture roll. There were many shark jaws like this one on display, and this was the first set I saw. I can’t remember which shark’s jaws this one belonged to, it was probably a hammerhead.

Because this was the closest shark model to it, I presumed. I TOUCHED THIS TOO. WAXY. It was technically half a shark model because it was nailed to the wall. 

I felt like this Great White was staring daggers into my soul. The most popular shark among humans, the Great White Shark received better treatment than that half Hammerhead nailed to the wall – it had its own dedicated display area, fenced up with flimsy plastic barricades you could manoeuvre around, scoring some one-on-one time with this life-sized replica. And look back there! A baby great white! How cute!

Frontal view of the same model – the Great White was at least 2 metres from tip to tip!

This is a bluefin tuna – Japan’s most heavily fished fish that could weigh up to 300kg (roughly the size of this one on display). You might be wondering what the hell is a tuna doing at a shark exhibit?

This Mako Shark, is the most common predator to the bluefin tuna, and this display case was explaining the predator-prey relationship between the two fishies.


The face of that fish is even more fearsome than the Great White – the model had all these pretend-scratches on it to make it look real, and I suppose the artists just patted some fake blood around the mouth, assuming it looked like that all the time. Wouldn’t tuna blood wash off in water? Scratch that… in the sea? I wouldn’t blame that Mako Shark spending all its spare time fishing for bluefins though – tuna is tasty.

This my friends, is the end of a surfboard that got bitten off by an actual shark. What kind of shark? I don’t know, but from the looks of it, apparently it took the shark about 2-3 bites to chew off the end, only to realize that it’s actually a tasteless piece of foam (polyurethane) and by then, it got too late to spit it out because sharks don’t have gag reflexes. How do they pass out random crap they eat like that out of their systems?

I TOUCHED THIS! The size of the bite marks were about 1 inch wide. See I have a swatch here as promised! This was Manicurist of Seville, 2 coats with 1 coat of SV.

Sadly, this is a display of the shark fins that were confiscated by Planet Shark from fishermen in New Zealand, who were getting the freshly cut and dried fins ready for export to Asia – I guess the mission was accomplished here, but for a different purpose.

I know Singapore has a lot of Chinese restaurants that serve sharks fin soup – something that signifies decadence, thus being a delicacy. It is an expensive dish, meaning that it’s a good deal for fishermen to catch these sharks, fin them alive, and throw them back into the sea for them to drown to death.

People may wonder how a fish can actually drown. Sharks can’t swim shit without their fins, meaning that water can’t pass through their gills. They thus can’t ‘breathe’ in a human context, and so they drown. They wriggle and sink to the bottom of the sea.

My dear sister, knowing this a long time ago before I ever had an interest in sharks, has been abstaining from sharks fin soup for nearly a decade, and this is pretty impressive, considering every Chinese wedding we attend always (I do mean always) serves sharks fin soup for ‘face’. I too have stopped supporting this vicious trade.

It may not be something that we Asians think about because we’re not exposed to the business and dealings behind what we eat, but when you do find out what actually goes on, it is hard to turn a blind eye to it and pretend you don’t know anything about the cruel industry you’re helping to fuel…

And a last picture to lighten the mood. After I left the exhibit I went around the rest of the annexes in the Science Centre and honestly, the displays there haven’t changed a bit since the last time I visited… like, maybe 4 years ago. The picture above was probably the most interesting display I saw yesterday – showing you the 3 states of water and its many uses and its crucial importance for life forms to exist on Earth.

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