Giant Inflatable Turtle Sculpture Sails into Sydney Harbor

Alphie the Sea Turtle, parked in Sydney Harbour. Photo: Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.

As part of a growing trend of inflatable, water-borne sculptures of oversize animals, a giant sea turtle has sailed into Sydney Harbor. Alphie is over 16 feet tall and 49 feet wide, and comes as part of an new undersea art exhibition at the Sydney Aquarium. Emblazoned with an abstract black-and-white pattern reminiscent of coral reef structures and Keith Haring paintings, the reptile is also meant to inspire awareness about the health of the Great Barrier Reef, reports the Telegraph.

If you’re having déjà vu, that’s because in January 2013, Florentijn Hofman’s much-buzzed-about Rubber Duck made an appearance in the famed harbor while on tour around the world. Stopping in Osaka, Sao Paulo, Amsterdam, and elsewhere, the bird set off a global fascination (and, in some locales, annoyance) with large, floating animal sculptures.

The duck simply meant to be adorable and fun, but Alphie is supposed to drum up excitement about the aquarium’s unique art exhibition, which will feature an array of paintings by Australian artist BJ Price waterproofed and mounted in underwater display tanks. Also in the display tanks will be sharks and fish, creating a thrilling and distinct viewing experience that is constantly in flux. No word on what the plans are to keep the sharks from taking a bite out of the paintings, but we hope the Sydney Aquarium staff thought of that.

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