Merlion at Night - Click to View Hi-Res Image

The Merlion appears to be the epitome of Singapore’s “if you build it, they will come” mentality, wherein “they” refers to tourists, and “it” refers to… just about anything, really. The Merlion – half lion, half fish – was conceived as a logo for the Singapore Tourism Board in the 1960s. The statue seen here was created in 1972 to welcome tourists to the country.

Frankly, I don’t know how a giant fictional creature spitting out water is supposed to be a welcoming image, but I guess it works. Tourists and travelers seem to have a love-hate relationship with the Merlion. I’ve met some travelers who vehemently refuse to be anywhere near the Merlion, while you still see hordes of package tourists posing for cheesy travel photos of the Merlion spitting water straight into their mouths. (I’m not afraid to admit to having done the same, as you can see here.)

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