Fish and … Tricks?

May 16, 2018

“I make a living out of the fact that truth is stranger than fiction,” once said Robert Ripley, iconic “Believe It or Not!” cartoonist, explorer, reporter, adventurer and collector.

Ripley traveled to 201 countries in 35 years to seek the odd, unusual and unexplained. On a repurposed junk boat with a skeleton crew, he set out to uncover the world’s most unusual and awe-inspiring creatures and artifacts from around the globe.

Now, students can walk in his footsteps.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada’s new Curious Creatures exhibit whisks students on a journey to the most remote corners of Earth to encounter strange artifacts, stories and sea creatures.

Inside a room inspired by Ripley’s junk boat, the curated collection includes some of Ripley’s most acclaimed finds from across the globe—not just artifacts, but marine animals like the Frogfish, glow-in-the-dark Flashlight Fish and species of isopods that date back 160 million years.

Students will get an up-close look at fish with tricks, including the Polka-Dot Batfish, a species that can’t swim well and uses pectoral fins to walk on the ocean floor, and the Sarcastic Fringehead, a small but territorial creature that opens its mouth to a horrifying circumference to fend off predators.

Interactive displays engage students with “shrunken head selfies” and the ability to step up to a punching bag and test their skills against the Peacock Mantis Shrimp, which packs a punch as fast as a .22 caliber bullet—50 times faster than the blink of a human eye.

The sea creatures and artifacts from around the world featured in Curious Creatures may be strange and unusual, but they are truth—whether students believe it or not.

Courtesy of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. Visit for more information.

Photo Courtesy of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.