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Sunday, January 18, 2015

bizarre aquarium in derelict shopping place in Bangkon - closing down !

Bizarre photographs have emerged of a derelict shopping place in Bangkok, Thailand, after its closure in 1997 ~  who lives on its ground floors makes it  interesting !!  The city of Chennai has many of them [every other city have them] – from Alsa, Spencer, Chennai city centre, Ampa Skywalk, Express Avenue, Chandra, Spectrum, Ramee, The Forum Vijaya, Phoenix …… and more ~ the malls of Chennai.  Youngsters throng the mall – roaming and shopping and there are huge crowds at any point of time.  For an Insurer, malls are high risk – they are overcrowded; too different categories of risks exist. Since it employs people of all hues, coordination could be a hit.

It  is so enchanting to keep looking at fish swimming whether in a pond or in a aquarium.  Fish keeping is a popular hobby which sure would give you lot of mental peace and tranquillity.  Aquarium is a place with at least one transparent side in which water dwelling animals including fish are kept and viewed.  Aqua is a Latin word meaning water and ‘arium’ is a place relating to.   There are very big aquariums in some Countries where humans walk inside and from the sides can view the marine animals in their natural best.  There are aquariums with big tubs in which fish and other aquatic creatures are kept.  At home, even a bottle would serve as an aquarium for keeping fishes like Gold fish, Angel, molly, Guppies etc.,   The fish tanks are generally rectangular in shape but would include glass bowls to keep gold fishes.  Then there are ponds – big or small, artificial or natural – that stocks fish.  In Thiruvallikkeni Kairavini pushkarini, Corporation used to breed guppies – those guppies would be taken in small earthen pots and dispensed to all wells in the vicinity – guppies would feed on the larvae of mosquito and effectively control them.

The Japanese Koi, a group of fish that are ornamental varieties of domesticated common carp are grown for decorative looks.  Koi carps are distinguished by colour, pattern and scalation. In India, Catla is distributed wide.    It inhabits the surface layer of water and feeds upon plankton.  Rohu  and Mrigal inhabit most major river systems of Asia. 

Miles away in Thailand,  few blocks away from Khao San Road sits New World, a four-storey, roofless, abandoned mall on the corner of Banglamphu Intersection. The building’s flooded basement now serves as a home for thousands of fish and is arguably home to the most exotic underwater species in Bangkok.   Back in the 80’s, Kaew Fah Plaza Company Limited built New World as an 11-storey mall. The company was later found in breach of a building law after it constructed seven more floors on top of the approved construction blueprint. The mall was shut in 1997, and unfortunate series of events occurred thereafter. The mall was set ablaze in 1999, causing some casualties and in 2004, one person was killed from collapsing debris during a partial demolition. The mall’s fifth to eleventh floors were eventually dismantled to be in line with the original plan and New World has been roofless ever since.

With no roof, rainwater unsurprisingly collected in the basement. The pool of static water reared mosquitoes. Mosquitoes annoyed vendors in the neighborhood. To fix this problem, some vendors released a bunch of fish into the pool so as to curb mosquito breeding. Quickly, that bunch of fish reproduced into thousands. In 2011, New World closed its doors after a huge number of locals visited the mall to sight the unseen, 500-square-meter fishpond…  here is something taken from Daily Mail and other web news sites.

It the bizarre story of how a derelict shopping plaza in Thailand became natural urban aquarium to thousands of giant catfish, carp and tilapia, aided by the combination of heavy rainfall and mosquito larvae.  Over the years the structure became home to more than 3,000 fish; however, now the abandoned shopping center is set for demolition.  Over the weekend workers clubbed together to clear the pond-like ground-floor of creatures. 

It was once home to dozens of fashion stores - that was before the fish moved in.  The derelict place, the combination of heavy rainfall and mosquito larvae made it the perfect breeding ground for amphibians.  Though there were worries that it could be a hotbed for disease, enterprising vendors were selling bags of fish food to tourists for around 35 cents. The roofless New World department store, which fell into disrepair following a fire, and which was a fish pond literally is now  set for demolition.  Government officials feared the structure could disintegrate at any time, with escalators and walkways on the brink of collapse.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

16th Jan 2015.

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