An unlikely roadside attraction in Taichung

Taichung Shark Cemetery 台中鯊魚墳場

Taichung Shark Cemetery (台中鯊魚墳場) is an unlikely roadside attraction near Tunghai University (東海大學) in Xitun, Taichung. There is no great mystery here—a nearby restaurant and banquet hall by the name of Tong Hai Fish Village (東海漁村) dumped a bunch of junk in this farmer’s field sometime prior to 2009, and since then it has become a popular place for young Taiwanese to visit and take photos.

A shark cemetery in Taichung
Discarded sharks in a field near Donghai University in Taichung.
An unlikely roadside attraction in Taichung
The shark cemetery is essentially a pile of junk in a farmer’s field.
The remains of a restaurant or theme park on Dadushan
The cast-off remnants of a nearby restaurant and banquet hall have been laying in this field for close to a decade.

Usually I have a lot to say about the abandoned places I visit in Taiwan but not this time. I appreciate the absurdity of the scene but there is nothing unknown about the shark cemetery, no deeper meaning to elucidate. These are merely the cast-off remnants of a business that didn’t bother to clean up their mess.

Shattered sharks on the orange soil of Dadushan
The many years have taken their toll on this weathered junk; by now not much remains.
Selachian parabola
A selachian parabola.
Dead shark staring into the abyss
A dead shark staring at the sun.
Yellow fairy at the shark cemetery
There are many yellow fairies laying around but let’s not kid ourselves—we’re here for the sharks!
Great white ruin
A great white ruin.
Doing what people do at the shark cemetery
Doing what the university students do. There was a line-up to take similar photographs here.

It is the human dimension of this place that I found most interesting. Apart from myself there were another ten or so people lining up for their turn to take photos here on the vibrant orange soils of the Dàdù Plateau (大肚台地). Mostly I wondered why no enterprising local had setup a stall to sell umbrellas, sun protection, snacks, and drinks near the entrance. Clearly this place is famous!

Taichung Shark Cemetery in black and white
One last look at the shark cemetery in black and white.

For more photos from the shark cemetery try the unofficial Facebook page or the relevant Instagram hashtag and location feeds for plenty of examples. Taiwanese photographer Greenset also has perhaps the most authoritative image gallery around. If you’re curious to go take a look, there’s really no reason to obscure the address; find the sharks at 台中市西屯區國際街60-2號. And for something arguably more interesting in the area have a look at my post about anti-airborne fortifications.

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