It features the mythical Merlion, an aquatic beast that has a head of lion. The statue located at Marina Bay spews forth water from its mouth down into the body of water.
The fish body of the Merlion is based on Singapore’s ancient name, Temasek, which means “sea town” in Javanese. The lion head is based on the meaning of Singapore, “lion city.” The Merlion as the symbol of Singapore started when Fraser Brunner, the curator of Van Kleef Aquarium designed a logo for the Singapore Tourism board. Although the tourism board has changed its logo in 1997, the Merlion has endured as an icon of the city state.
Other statues of the Merlion are also present at Sentosa Island and Mount Faber.
Photo courtesy of Bjorn Torrissen