There was no way I wasn’t going to share this odd little story with you that’s been swimming around on the internet (mind the pun). An abandoned mall, formerly the New World Mall in Bangkok, has become overrun by hungry consumers of a different sort; of a finned and scaly nature…
Fish! Thousands of fish have taken up residence in the charred remains of the shopping centre that lost its roof in a massive fire that broke out after its closure in 1997 due to building code violations. Rumours suggest the mall was set ablaze in protest of the building’s height being taller than the royal Grand Palace and after the fire, the fifth to eleventh floors were dismantled while the base of the structure has been oddly left to fester.
But back to the fish; catfish, koi fish, mango fish, goldfish and silver fish! And how did they get there?
So here’s the deal. Without a roof and with the help of a healthy rainy season, the sealed off building began to flood, which in turn caused a rather unfortunate mosquito outbreak in the area. In order to deal with the outbreak, locals and neighbouring business owners took it upon themselves to introduce freshwater fish into the flooded mall to eat the pesky insects.
And it pretty much worked out for everyone. The fish got fed, the locals didn’t need to stock-pile insect repellant and the mall has even started to generate some commerce again. Whispers of Bangkok’s curious fish mall have spread, attracting enough visitors that local merchants are now selling fish food to tourists outside the mall.
No word yet if you can set up your fishing pole on the escalators.
You can take a little video tour here: