The Merlion is an icon of Singapore. Instantly recognisable around the world, it has been come synonymous with Singapore. Here are some interesting fun facts about the Merlion and all things related to it.
The Merlion is One Year Older Than Singapore
Work on the Merlion designed started in 1963 and was officially adopted as the logo for the then-Singapore Tourism Promotion Board in 1964. Singapore only became a nation in 1965, making the Merlion one year older than Singapore.
Merlion’s Designer Knew Fish Very Well
The merlion was designed by Fraser Brunner. He was the curator of the Van Kleef Aquarium that used to be at Fort Canning Hill.
Like a Pet, the Merlion Has an Owner
The Merlion image is officially the property of the Singapore Tourism Board. It was the then-STPB’s logo for 33 years up until 1997. But just like any other feline, the Merlion is hard to keep track of. While STB allows the Merlion image to be used on kitsch items like chocolates and souvenir pens, it is hard to know exactly where the Merlion’s image appears.
Merlion Took a Boat and Jumped a Bridge to Get to Merlion Park
The famous water-sprouting Merlion was originally installed at the mouth of the Singapore next to the now-Fullerton Hotel in 1972. With the redevelopment of the Marina Bay and the completion of the Esplanade Bridge, the Merlion could no longer be seen. This led city planners relocating the Merlion to the Marina Bay waterfront. In 2002, the statue was loaded onto a barge, hoisted over the Esplanade Bridge, placed back on a barge and floated down to the present Merlion Park.
Largest Merlion is the Sentosa Merlion
Over at Sentosa is a behemoth 37-metre-tall Merlion. It dominates the surrounding plaza and visitors can take an elevator up to viewing galleries at its mouth and head. The Sentosa Merlion was designed by an Australian artist, James Martin and completed in 1995.
Highest Merlion is on Top of a Hill
While the largest Merlion may be at Sentosa’s Merlion Plaza, the highest spot that you can find a Merlion in Singapore is at Mount Faber. At Faber Point, the highest point on Mount Faber, you will find 3-metre-tall Merlion standing there.
The Merlion Appeared on Phineas and Ferb
In the animated TV show Phineas and Ferb’s Summer Belongs to You! (Season 2 Episode 101), the Merlion gets “bounced” on the gang as they made their way around the world.
Merlion was Struck by Lightning But Survived
In February 2009, the Merlion at Merlion Park was struck by lightning. This sent pieces of its mane falling down to the wave pedestal where it stands. This resulted in the Merlion having to be closed for repairs and replastering in March 2009.
This Colourful Merlion Hides a Secret
The most colourful Merlion award goes to the pop-art Merlion at Resorts World Sentosa. It also has a hidden secret. Using an AR app, you can watch it transform into a white Merlion spouting water.