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Japanese Theme Park Apologies For Intentionally Filling Frozen Rink With 5,000 Dead Fish

“We should have explained more”

Space World, a theme park located in Kitakyushu, Japan, has found itself with some explaining to do after a public outcry over their most recent attempt at wooing visitors. The park created an attraction known as an “ice aquarium” which consisted of 5,000 fish frozen into the water with their bodies spelling out symbols and words such as “hello.”

While the concept is something of a surprise, the public reaction is just what you’d expect. People, both local and distant, are furious. The park’s Facebook page became a depository for angry messages and jokes over the stunt, causing the park to close the exhibit on Sunday.

Here’s what the scene looked like at the park. It’s as bizarre as you would expect:

And the very images that were used in the promotion of the attraction are now the source of outrage and shock online:

One piece of pertinent, yet previously unannounced, information against charges of animal cruelty was released in response to the backlash. The Japan Times ran a statement from Space World which read:

A spokesperson told the Asahi Shimbun that the park was considering holding a memorial service for the fish next year, adding that the fish were already dead when they were bought from a local wholesaler.

“Misunderstandings spread on the internet that the fish were frozen while they were still alive, but that was not the case,” the spokesperson told the newspaper. “We should have explained more.”

Yes, they probably should have explained more. And while the fact that the fish were dead might mitigate some outrage, it doesn’t exactly put the stunt in the realm of good taste. If you’re thinking that using a fish for an amusement park novelty is more than a little wasteful, well, the park seems to hear you on that front, too, as the fish, when thawed, will be used as fertilizer.

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