Japanese Aquarium Displays Special Orchids for the Year of the Monkey

Rebecca OConnell
Quimbaya, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Quimbaya, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Quimbaya, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Chinese New Year is on February 8, and with it begins the year of the monkey. The Aquamarine Fukushima in Japan is celebrating accordingly. In December, they opened an exhibit featuring some unusual orchids known as Dracula simia. The name might conjure images of vampires, but in fact, the rare flowers have markings that make them look like they have tiny monkey faces. The flowers come in an array of different shapes and colors, with some even sporting furry-looking petals.

The orchids come from mountainous regions of Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru, making the plants an exotic treat for Japanese locals. Monkey orchids tend to have a strong smell of ripe oranges, so we can only assume that the room smelled fantastic throughout the exhibit's run, which ended on January 12.

[h/t: My Modern Met]