Over the summer, we ran a piece on Bangkok’s famously abandoned New World shopping center. What made this abandoned mall different than all the others was that the basement was filled with thousands of fish. Now, the era of fish in the basement of the New World mall is coming to an end. Thai officials have begun moving fish from the flooded basement to a more natural habitat.
For the past two decades the fish in the basement of the abandoned New World Shopping center have been a huge tourist attraction.
The mall was closed in 1997 after a city court found that seven of the structure’s 11 floors were built illegally. The top seven floors were demolished.
When the next rainy season came around, the bottom of the mall filled withwater.The dark, stagnant waters made a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and other disease carrying insects.
To fight the new mosquito population, locals began releasing different types of fish into the mall’s waters.
It sounds strange, but it actually worked. The fish began eating the mosquitoes and their eggs. The result was a sharp drop in the insect population.
The fish in the mall also provided a boost to the local economy, as a thriving tourist trade sprung up. Foreigners would hear about the mall fish online then come to check them out. Many tourists would also feed the fish with food sold by local vendors.
Now, with the fish being moved by the government, the end of an era has arrived. The city of Bangkok is demanding 271.391,40 € from the owners of the building to completely demolish the abandoned mall once and for all.
Those poor fish. I suppose living the dank, flooded basement of a former shopping mall isn’t the most ideal place for any creature, even a fish. Let’s just hope they successfully demolish the rest of the mall before the mosquito population rebounds without the fish to eat them.