My sister-in-law and I took my daughter, her son and the son of a friend (ages 3-4) to the Sao Paulo Aquarium. Sao Paulo boasts the largest aquarium in South America. But museums and other cultural attractions in the third world make one appreciate the public and private funding that gets funneled into museums and art galleries in the States. Shedd Aquarium this was not.

Regardless, the kids thought it was the best! Aside from a school group, we were the only ones there so the three preschoolers had the run of the place. They dashed from tank to tank identifying fish and snakes and iguana, eagerly discussing what they saw. They were having a great time!

That is, until we got to the dinosaur exhibit:

Yes way.

What giant plastic, mechanical dinosaurs and a prehistoric zombie exhibit were doing in the middle of an aquarium, God only knows. But the kids were TERRIFIED. We had to pick up each individual child and RUN them past the displays. My daughter screamed the entire run and then cried for 10 minutes straight. Twenty minutes and some deep breathing exercises (and some chocolate and a R$15 Little Mermaid balloon) later she was recovered enough to proceed through the remaining sea creature exhibits. The fun resumed, though there was some understandable hesitation before entering each new exhibit.

It was still a great time. However, guess who refused to sleep in her own bed that night. Just guess.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Crazy Adventures, Culture Conflicts, Daily Escapades, Expatriate Info & Advice, Foreigner Insights, Living in Sao Paulo, What the h*ll is that? and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to AquariScari

  1. alex says:

    I didn’t know Aquariums doubled as haunted houses in Brasil. Another mind blowing thing about mind blowing Brasil.I think your “Sorria Mamae” or “Sophia Mamae” (whichever she said, probably both) doll should have had a star part in the haunted part!!


  2. Oh, my. How heartbreaking with the crying and running past exhibits! I’ve been there- it really evokes your protective instinct, doesn’t it?

  3. Ray says:

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph!!!
    Talk about spoky!! I would cry with Sophia too!!
    Are you sure there weren’t just rehearsing for Halloween 😉


  4. Ray says:

    They definitely have to work on those creatures eyes…Hey, they just might be the same people who designed the “creppy dolls” lol… 🙂

  5. Corinne says:

    My son had a similar reaction to the dinosaur exhibit in the Tucson’s Children’s Museum – the dinosuars were mechanical and moved and made scary noises. Those mummies really take the cake though!

    • What are people thinking? Especially in a children’s museum! And it was particularly surprising for us since this was an AQUARIUM. And I believe that although those men looked like zombies/mummies/monsters, they were supposed to just be prehistoric men.

  6. workmomad says:

    I find the zombie/mummies to be quite a bit over the top! Why include them? I hope your daughter recovers soon to be able to sleep by herself. My daughter accidentally watched a good bit of the Ghost and the Darkness (about two man-eating lions in Africa in the late 1800’s) and we had trouble getting her to sleep for a week; she was convinced that the lions were laying in wait for her, so I know what you are going through!


    • I think they don’t see it the same way that I (we) do. Just perfectly accurate cave men. HA! It seems my daughter has forgotten, but you never know when these things pop back up. Your poor daughter!! Lions in wait are scary!!

  7. scrubgrub says:

    Oh wow! And to think I keep telling my husband how much I think our son would love a trip to the aquarium. Geeze those photos freaked me out!

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  10. Stephanie says:

    This is tragic and hysterical! It reminds me of the yearly Nativity exhibit they do here in Rio every December. There are probably 25 different nativity scenes, life-sized and some really huge ones, but a good many of them are quite disturbing and zombie/scary doll-like. This year one of the baby Jesus figures looked exactly like Hugo Chavez. I have photos.

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