Photo Of The Day

Photo: Jesse Rockwell

Photo: Jesse Rockwell

The Secret of The Abandoned Fish Mall

In most post-apocalyptic films when the camera pans down the abandoned streets of New York or Tokyo, long after people have disappeared and the buildings have fallen into disrepair, we see nature again thriving. Trees and plants take hold in the sidewalks and wild animals like deer, bears, and lions stalk the ruins left behind by humans. But after descending the staircase at a vacant shopping mall in Bangkok, professional cook and photographer Jesse Rockwell?discovered a wholly different take on beasts inheriting the Earth: fish. Specifically exotic koi and catfish, teeming by the thousands in a secret subterranean aquarium.

Rockwell shares via his?blog:

Down a nondescript soi (Soi?is the term used in Thailand for a side-street branching off a major street) in old town Bangkok lies a relatively unknown hidden gem. Without a good knowledge of Bangkok geography, one would be hard pressed to believe anything interesting lies behind this gate.

New World shopping mall, a four storey former shopping mall. Originally constructed as an eleven storey building, it was found to be in breach of old town Bangkok?s four storey limit on building heights. The top seven floors were demolished to adhere to building codes in 1997. In 1999 the mall burned due to suspected arson committed by a competitor in the area. The disaster resulted in several casualties, and the building has remained abandoned ever since. Not having a roof, the basement floor remains under several feet of water year round.?

At some point in the early 2000?s an unknown person began introducing a small population of exotic Koi and Catfish species. The small population of fish began to thrive and the result is now a self-sustained and amazingly populated urban aquarium. I will not tell exactly where it is, as locals somewhat discourage people visiting it. In fact we had to wait for a policeman who was parked on his motorcycle in front of the gate to leave before we timidly entered.

Cook, photographer, and writer Rockwell has lived in Thailand for almost 10 years and had heard of the local story from friends but beyond a sign that says ?Strictly no entrance beyond this point,? the place has been left to decay since its closing. According to Bangkok Post, officials will be inspecting the building soon as a result of the recent attention the site has been garnering lately and will be destroying it if deemed unsafe.

What an amazing discovery. It makes you wonder what else lurks in abandoned places around the world.