Atlantis (the resort on Paradise Island—have I mentioned I’m staying at Atlantis?) is themed. It’s not heavily themed—there aren’t pictures of sunken cities and fish lamps in every room—but there’s a subtle vibe. Probably the heaviest influence is The Dig, an aquarium that hints toward archeological findings of a ancient city buried for eternity in the ocean. Naturally it’s all rubbish, but it’s charming and fun. And free.
The opening salvo, a shot worthy of an Indian and Jones or Amazon explorer-esque era, pulls you in. You’ve got the typical explorer hat, the old-fashioned canteen, the desk with a typewriter (because no explorer leaves home without either one. How to carry them is a different matter). It’s all rather adorable.
Then you get to the “sunken” relics. there’s something in every room (and tank) you get to whether it’s a mosaic on the wall or some otherworldly sculpture. It’s like the Egyptians meet a futuristic society:
Props to the stocker of the tanks, because they’re not just full of boring fish. You get a pretty good selection of marine life. This eel in an earthenware jug both repulses and compels me in equal measure. It’s somehow spine tingling and fascinating at the same time. I still look at it and shiver.
Don’t let this placid-looking fellow fool you. This grouper is at least 4 feet long. Ginormous. On a related note, I now know what fish I saw snorkeling at Catalina Island, California several years ago.
This fish is gold. Metallic gold. And almost paper-sheet thin. I don’t know what kind it is (a cursory search of Google revealed A LOT of fish. Very unhelpful, Google).
The Dig brought out my child-like enthusiasm. Even adults need a little mystery and magic in their lives, a “what if” to get the rainbow-inducing, creative gears churning in their heads.