Abandoned Australian Wildlife Park Is Home To A Decayed Great White Shark

Andrew Roberts 12 Feb 2019

Several people have discovered and posted about this mysterious preserved shark at an abandoned wildlife park in Melbourne, Australia. The tank holding the shark has turned an eerie neon green, holding the preserved predator in a state that almost makes it seem otherworldly -- and artistic to some.

But now that word is out, the time is likely short for this once hidden wonder.

Forgotten Relic

The shark itself has an interesting history, including how it ended up at a wildlife park better known for earthworms. But the real treat was seeing it in its current state -- and like you see in the photos posted by Krapski on Instagram.

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Viral Moment

Lukie Mc / YouTube

He was turned onto the shark by a viral clip posted a few months back that plays into the hobby of urban exploration -- particularly around Melbourne according to Don Kransky at Vice:

It took me a few weeks to make the journey, but just before I left a video surfaced on my feed from someone who’d seen it. YouTube promoted the video as “recommended,” and the footage had accrued millions of hits in a matter of days, which had obviously been a disaster for the shark.

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Abandoned On YouTube

He continues, discussing the shape the shark ended up in after the video of it went viral:

In the clip I could see someone had pried the roof off shark’s vitrine, allowing some idiot to throw in a broken television. And a network of cracks had appeared on the tank’s glass where someone had gone at it with a hammer or some other blunt object. To varying degrees, I figure everyone has a killjoy somewhere inside them, but some hold themselves back better than others. And apparently the video’s audience size had brought out the jerks—as well as some seriously dangerous formaldehyde fumes.

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The Story Behind The Shark

The story behind the shark doesn't start with the abandoned preserve. Both the worms and the shark used to be alive, taking us back to 1998 of the South Australian Coast according to Vice:

[The] great white was preserved for display at a Victorian ecotourism centre devoted to fur seals. And given that fur seals make up a significant portion of a great white’s diet, you could see the synergy.

Things fell apart in the early 2000s when the centre committed to expanding its underwater display, but failed to follow through on its deal with the state government, leaving the shark and its vitrine without a suitable home. Its then-owner then temporarily rehoused the shark in a small wildlife park that was devoted to the preservation of the Giant Gippsland Earthworm.

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Vandals Strike

The park closed around 2012 after several changes and ignorance from owners, leaving the shark in the wind as far as the owners were concerned. From there, it stayed until discovered by someone, uploaded, and turned into a viral attraction:

Curiously, the shark—alongside the rest of the park’s non-living attractions—were left behind. Apparently interest from the curators at the Melbourne Museum also cooled, as the shark had began to badly age in its forgotten tank. So then, for the next seven years, unless you were intimately connected to Melbourne’s urban exploration scene, you’d have never known that a discount Damien Hirst was sitting unseen within an easy drive of Melbourne’s CBD.

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Won't Be Around Much Longer

According to Kransky and Vice, the clock is now ticking for the shark. As Don writes over at Vice -- and as you can see in the video here -- the treatment of the shark's remains and the damage to the tank ensure the specimen will soon slip "wholly out of existence."

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'Mysterious Shark'

Don Kransky/ Instagram

The fun part of the whole thing is how the nameplate on the tank says "mysterious shark." You have to think it isn't new, so the mystery was a lot clearer back 20 years ago. But now, the name fits even more until it's all ruined.

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A Rare Treat

Giphy

And while seeing a shark in the wild is interesting enough, seeing one up close in a tank like this would indeed be pretty special. The sharks can't live in captivity, so this would be your only real chance unless you want to brave the seas.

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At Least People Know

Don Kransky/ Instagram

But at least people know and have been able to see it before other people showed up to destroy it. The photos are perfect and really capture the feel of this forgotten treat.

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Another Great White Encounter

This isn't the first big shark story of 2019 so far. Last month, divers off the coast of Hawaii had an encounter with Deep Blue, a 20-foot long great white shark.

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Deep Blue

The width of Deep Blue makes experts believe that the shark is pregnant.

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Making Friends

She was also swimming with dolphins, which is extremely rare for great white sharks.

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Gentle Giant

Ocean Ramsey, who swam with Deep Blue, says she is a gentle giant. I don't know, I think I'd rather swim with the one that's been soaking formaldehyde.

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