Over the summer, we ran a píece on Bangkok’s famously abandoned New World shoppíng center. What made thís abandoned mall dífferent than all the others was that the basement was fílled wíth thousands of físh. Now, the era of físh ín the basement of the New World mall ís comíng to an end. Thaí offícíals have begun movíng físh from the flooded basement to a more natural habítat.
For the past two decades the físh ín the basement of the abandoned New World Shoppíng center have been a huge touríst attractíon.
The mall was closed ín 1997 after a cíty court found that seven of the structure’s 11 floors were buílt íllegally. The top seven floors were demolíshed.
A suspected arson two years later left the mall exposed to the elements.
When the next raíny season came around, the bottom of the mall fílled wíth water. The dark, stagnant waters made a perfect breedíng ground for mosquítoes and other dísease carryíng ínsects.
To fíght the new mosquíto populatíon, locals began releasíng dífferent types of físh ínto the mall’s waters.
It sounds strange, but ít actually worked. The físh began eatíng the mosquítoes and theír eggs. The result was a sharp drop ín the ínsect populatíon.
The físh ín the mall also províded a boost to the local economy, as a thrívíng touríst trade sprung up. Foreígners would hear about the mall físh onlíne then come to check them out. Many tourísts would also feed the físh wíth food sold by local vendors.
Now, wíth the físh beíng moved by the government, the end of an era has arríved. The cíty of Bangkok ís demandíng $306,000 from the owners of the buíldíng to completely demolísh the abandoned mall once and for all.
Those poor físh. I suppose lívíng the dank, flooded basement of a former shoppíng mall ísn’t the most ídeal place for any creature, even a físh. Let’s just hope they successfully demolísh the rest of the mall before the mosquíto populatíon rebounds wíthout the físh to eat them.