Watch: Gay Penguin 'Power Couple' Celebrate Third Anniversary

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Saturday January 15, 2022
Originally published on January 14, 2022

Gentoo penguin pair Sphen and Magic — residents of SEA LIFE Aquarium in Sydney, Australia — celebrated their third anniversary, and a new mating season, with a frozen fish cake, Australian newspaper the Star Observer reported.

The celebration took place in November, the article detailed, with guests — neighbors who also live in the aquarium — joining in.

SEA LIFE posted a video of the occasion on Instagram. Kiera, a penguin keeper, narrated the clip, saying that the couple were "still one of our strongest couples" and updating viewers with news that Sphen and Magic have relocated their nest together.

"They're a great example for the rest of the colony," Kiera added, "inseparable and proving just how strong penguin bonds can be."

The penguin keeper's admiring words were in line with the couple's remarkable bond, which workers at the aquarium noticed when Sphen presented Magic with a "special stone" — the penguin equivalent of a proposal. The couple proceeded to build a nest of pebbles, just as other couples were doing.

When Sphen and Magic were provided with a "dummy egg" to care for, they took right to it. Impressed, the staff provided them with a real egg, which came from a couple that had two eggs to care for. (Penguin couples can typically only care for one chick at a time.)

The couple hatched and then cared for a healthy female chick, and a year later they added to their family when they adopted another egg, eventually hatching a male chick.

Watch the SEA LIFE clip below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.