An amusement park in Japan has been forced to close its skating rink after a torrent of online criticism over its centrepiece: thousands of fish frozen into the ice, The Guardian reports.

 

Space World in the city of Kitakyushu, south-west Japan, bowed to pressure to close the facility on Sunday after an online campaign denouncing the piscine graveyard as “cruel”, “immoral” and “weird”.

 

The rink, which was supposed to have stayed open until the spring, featured about 5,000 dead sprats, mackerel and other fish that had been bought from a local market embedded in the ice, some with their mouths still open in apparent suspended animation, according to local media reports.

 

The fish were also used to spell out “hello” under the ice and to form an arrow showing skaters which direction to follow.

 

Other parts of the rink showed rays and whale sharks that, the park pointed out, were merely enlarged photos that had been placed beneath the ice.

 

The outcry was prompted after the fish, some of which appear to be swimming in formation around a pillar, were featured in a local TV report last week.

 

Space World’s Facebook page was inundated with complaints and calls for the attraction to close.

 

One commenter said the park was “disrespectful of life”, while another said it was displaying an “appalling lack of morality”.

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