Thursday, 12 February 2015

Underwater World in Sentosa

As mentioned in this article, we bought a S$35 Groupon voucher that includes admissions to Flower Dome, and Cloud Forest in Gardens by the Bay, and Underwater Water World (normal price is S$30 for an adult ticket).

The Aquarium
I have been to S.E.A. Aquarium, but not Underwater World. This place is opened in 1991 while S.E.A. Aquarium opened in 2012. Expectedly, S.E.A. Aquarium would be larger. In fact, it was the largest in the world until it was overtaken by Chime-Long Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai, China in 2014. But Chime-Long isn't making too many friends in the conservationist circle.

The Touch Pool, Underwater World, Sentosa, Singapore
A few creatures in the Touch Pool for visitors to feel 

Underwater World, Sentosa, Singapore
Gold fish peeped out its head through the opening, waiting for the visitors' feed.
'allo 'allo! Anyone out there? I'm hungry.

While I expected Underwater World to be smaller, after reaching the end, I thought I was missing parts of it that I hadn't visited. From memory, the aquarium section of Underwater World is only about 1/4 that of S.E.A. Aquarium, which has greater variety of sea creatures and larger aquariums. It really dwarfs the Underwater World.

However, Underwater Water has lower admission charge (S.E.A. Aquarium's normal price is S$38), and more importantly, it has a pretty entertaining dolphin and seal show.

Underwater World, Sentosa, Singapore

Like most aquarium of the world, Underwater World has a glass walled tunnel where marine creatures swing around and above visitors' heads.

shark, Underwater World, Sentosa, Singapore
A shark, resting comfortably on top of the glass tunnel

Sting ray, Underwater World, Sentosa, Singapore
Peekapoo ! A stingray pressing its face on the glass tunnel above like Garfield
Cat on car window. Although it looks less cute than Garfield Cat...or is it?

There's usually at least one or two pilot or cleaner fishes following a shark, acting like a full-time dentist, keeping the shark's teeth clean and wealthy. I haven't seen them in this aquarium. What I saw is a large bunch of pilot/cleaner fishes following a stingray. This stingray must be extremely dirty.

The Dolphin Lagoon
The threatened pink dolphin is the star attraction of the Underwater World, and it gave birth to a calf in the Dolphin Lagoon on 27 Nov 2014.

The pink dolphin official name is actually Chinese white dolphin (中華白海豚). Its skin colour changes as it goes through different stages of life cycle. They born black, and turns into grey, then pink hue start to appear as the grey faded away, and by adulthood, their skin turns white.

While it isn't able to discern easily form the photo, the dolphin we saw has pink patches. White dolphin is the right name for adults because the pink colour comes from the blood vessels showing through its white skin. When some of us drink alcohol, our faces are flushed with red, that's not to say we have red skin. White skin will show this red flushes better, and quite often in pink hue.

pink dolphin, Underwater World, Sentosa, Singapore
Photo shows that the various gradation of dark grey
(click to enlarge)

The tail end of the dolphin shows the darkest grey, and fading to more and more white towards its head and chest. Click to see the pink hue around its top half body. The grey freckles are uneven: even the tail shows some missing grey on the edges. Note though, the edges in the tail are showing white, not pink. This is because there're less blood vessels in the tail as expected.

But if you come to see this dolphin in a few years from now, you'll likely to see a pink dolphin from head to toe (sorry...tail) when its grey freckles will be completely gone.

pink dolphin, Underwater World, Sentosa, Singapore
The pink dolphin performed an aerial acrobatic

pink dolphin with trainer, Underwater World, Sentosa, Singapore
Bonding between man, sorry, woman and fish, sorry, marine mammal.
In the underside of the dolphin, all the grey freckles are nearly completely disappeared.

The seal is also quite a crowd pleaser with its many entertaining routines. It could easily upstage the leading attraction of the pink dolphin with its playfulness.

Seal show, Underwater World, Sentosa, Singapore
The seal is doing a hand, sorry, flipper stand

Seal show, Underwater World, Sentosa, Singapore
Seal bouncing a ball with its nose
Good place for a nice family day out.

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