Happy Fishmas - Thai aquarium gets surprise Santa visit

·1 min read

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Visitors to an aquarium in Thailand got a big surprise this week when Santa Claus swam by, carrying a sack full of food and surrounded by shoals of curious fish.

The basement aquarium in the Bangkok shopping mall was the last place families were expecting to see Father Christmas, equipped with fins, oxygen tank and a dive mask.

Children hopped up and down and pointed excitedly, mesmerised by a Santa in a floppy red hat waving while floating above the coral and circled by angelfish.

"She been running all the way down here to see the diving Santa," Frenchman Jean Baptise Richard said of his 4-year-old daughter, Maya, a frequent visitor to the aquarium.

"Normally, she never stays here more than 30 seconds, so today it's already five minutes," he said.

The fish eat from the hand of Santa, who interacts with visitors and poses for pictures from the other side of the glass.

The woman in the wetsuit beneath the Santa outfit is Nichakarn Sariwong, an employee of the marine life centre, whose job is normally to look after the fish and clean and maintain the aquarium.

"It's Christmas time, so I dress as a Santa for about three or four days to feed fish. The kids love the show so much," said Nichakarn.

(Reporting by Jiraporn Kuhakan; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)