The Merlion is the icon of Singapore. When people talk about Singapore overseas, most of them will commonly relate Singapore to the Merlion symbol. And, this is a perfect case study of successful marketing by Singapore Tourism Board over the years.
If you are curious about Merlion, here are some the little known facts about Merlion that you probably didn’t know (even Singaporeans).
1. Merlion is older than Singapore
The Merlion is 1 year older than Singapore. It is designed in 1963 and then officially used as the then Singapore Tourism Board’s logo in the year 1964. Singapore becomes an independent nation in 1965, thus Merlion is 1 year older than Singapore
2. Purpose of Merlion
You probably wonder why Singapore created Merlion. Merlion’s fish body symbolises Singapore’s origins as a fishing village and it is created to welcome all visitors to Singapore. It has been successful since its pilot launch.
3. Merlion struck by lightning
Merlion survived a lightning strike! In 2009, Singapore’s Merlion Park is damaged by lightning during a thunderstorm. It was quite severe that parts of the statue dropped off near a group of tourists. Fortunately, no one was hurt. This incident was covered by quite a number of major news portal.
4. Highest Merlion in Singapore
Guess where you can find the highest Merlion in Singapore? It’s not the Merlion in Sentosa! The highest Merlion in Singapore is located in Mount Faber. You will be able to find a 3 metres high Merlion situated in Faber Point, the highest point of Mount Faber.
5. Largest Merlion in Singapore
Yes, the largest Merlion in Singapore is in Sentosa. It measures 37m in height as compared to other Merlions which measures 16.6m combined. Do you know that the Merlion in Sentosa is the only Merlion in Singapore where you can enter its body?
6. Tooth of Merlion
Each tooth of Merlion represents an ethnic group in Singapore. It signifies prosperity for all different races in Singapore. Want to know how many ethnic group Singapore has? Next time, if you have the chance, count its tooth.
7. Merlion appeared in Anime
Japanese love Merlion! I don’t know why exactly though. Merlion has appeared in several Japanese anime like Cowboy Behop, Hajime Satō’s, Hidamari Sketch, Seitokai no Ichizon and more. Maybe next time, Singapore should invest in a Japanese anime to promote Singapore culture. See how PM Lee (Prime minister of Singapore) encountered a Merlion during his vacation here.
8. Cost of building Merlion
Singapore spent millions building the Merlion statues. The cost to build the original Merlion in Merlion Park is around S$165,000, but the relocation and expansion of Merlion Park are around S$7.5M. As expected the 37m Merlion in Sentosa is the most expensive and it cost S$8M.
9. What is Merlion made up of
Many wonder what Merlion is made up of exactly. To be exact, it has a lion head with a body of a fish. It is an imaginary creature designed by Fraser Brunner.
10. Merlion has an owner
Like most pets, Merlion has an owner too. Its owner is the Singapore Tourist Board.
11. Merlion embraces AR Technology
Singapore is striving to be a smart nation. So does Merlion! The pop-art Merlion statue at RWS Sentosa will transform to a white Merlion sprouting water if you scan it using the Trickeye Museum AR App.
Hope you have fun with these facts about Merlion! If next time if you visit Singapore, be sure to check out the Merlion. You can’t say you visited Singapore without having a photo taken with the national icon.