Ikansingapura: The Myth of the Lion Fish

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Have you ever seen this sea creature before? This cat-fish organism that mews while swimming?

Scientists have described it as such:

Common name: Lion Fish
Scientific name: Pterois Leo

Habitat: Unknown
Conservation status: Unknown
Behavior: Unknown

Although not much is known about this highly elusive species, local fishermen have imagined several myths associated with this creature. One is particularly memorable:

Once upon a time, there lived Sang Nila Utama, a handsome and kind prince.

He ruled wisely and were respected by his soldiers. Villagers adored him. Even trees willingly offer their most succulent fruits to him.

One day, he ventured overseas, to find a place suitable for a new city. However, he was caught in a great storm.

Trapped by the churning froth, the sailors threw everything heavy into the sea to prevent their ship from sinking. There was nothing left to discard but water was still leaking in.

To soothe the sea gods, Sang Nila Utama threw his crown into the sea. Immediately, the storm stopped.

On board, there was a curious mewing. The waves had stranded a school of sea creatures - each half-cat and half-fish - that were now struggling on the wooden floorboards.

Sang Nila Utama believed that these creatures foretold great things. Henceforth, the prince decided that the city was to be named 'Ikan-singa-pura' (Malay for "The Land of Lion-Fishes").

However, the name was too long and the local people referred to the place more fondly as 'Singapura'.

Here's how the drawing developed, in reverse order:


Thanks for reading :]

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