Celebrity Gay Penguins Sphen and Magic
They have outlasted Elon Musk and Grimes, and even Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, as this week - Sphen and Magic - the famous same-sex penguin couple from SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium are celebrating their third anniversary! The two Gentoo Penguins became the symbol of the Australian gay rights movement back in 2018 when their romance and role as devoted, adoptive dads became headlines around the world.
This breeding season, the world’s most adored penguin couple, Sphen and Magic are delighting guests to the aquarium in Darling Harbour by continuing to display their strong and loyal bond, by setting up their nest front, and centre of the viewing window.
Kiera Ponting, Penguin Keeper at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium commented, “It’s our fourth penguin breeding season at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, which is always a special time and while some penguin couples form new relationships, we’re thrilled to see that Spehn and Magic are still together and still one of the most devoted couples in the colony.
“Magic still regularly collects the most perfect pebble that he can find for Sphen, displaying what a great hunter and partner he can be. They set a great example to the rest of the colony and we’ve noticed many of the newer penguin couples setting up their nests close to Sphen and Magic, which we think is them trying to learn from the best!”
While Sphen and Magic won’t be fostering a real egg this season, the love birds are still minding an artificial egg to ensure they’re setting an example to the other penguin couples. They also continue to play an important role as ambassadors for their species, who are facing a wide variety of threats in the wild like plastic pollution and changing environments.
It’s also great time for guests to visit the aquarium, as Sphen and Magic’s nest is located in the prime position for visitors to come and see them up close!
Sphen and Magic went viral in 2018 when the male-male couple successfully adopted and incubated an egg at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. The hatched chick was named Lara by its Penguin Carers but nicknamed by the public as Sphengic after her amazing parents.
The duo reunited in 2019 and again in 2020 when they adopted their second egg, which successfully hatched in November 2020 – their second chick, Clancy is now fully grown and loving life!