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Houdini the Lionfish

  • Wednesday 23rd May 2012

Meet Houdini, one of several Lionfish we have on display here at Sydney Aquarium.


You've probably already guessed where he gets his name from, but we'll tell the tale anyway. Somehow, little troublesome Houdini manages to magically escape out of his tank to go out and explore the Great Barrier Reef next door.


If you've visited us before, you may be thinking that Houdini and his Lionfish pals already live in the Great Barrier Reef, but you'd be mistaken! Their tank appears to be a part of the huge Great Barrier Reef display, but truth be told it's actually separated by a sheet of clear acrylic from the main display. It's just one of many optical illusions you'll find in aquariums all over the world.


Anyway, it all became too much for Houdini - staring into paradise every day. Even though the Lionfish tank is in itself a great space, Houdini's sense of adventure drove him to demand more from life. He didn't want to live near the Great Barrier Reef - he wanted to live in it. So he made it happen.


Quite how he achieved his dream (and kept re-achieving it), we do not know, because his tank is sealed. He'd need to be a salmon to leap the several feet of height and distance into the main exhibit, and we're pretty sure he hasn't paid off an insider to plop him over the top of the divider (investigations are ongoing - we know fish can be very persuasive).


Houdini was being placed back into his tank after each escape, but each time he managed to escape. We are all mystified as to how he does it, and the upshot is that he now resides permanently in the Great Barrier Reef display. Fair play to the guy. He's earned it.


The moral of the story? If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Eventually everyone will get tired of fighting you, and you'll win.


So, not only are lions kings of the jungle, they're also now kings of the Great Barrier Reef.


Next time you head down to Sydney Aquarium, keep a close look out in the main Great Barrier Reef exhibit for our Houdini. He likes to hang out by the Reef theatre window (mocking us, basically).



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