Devastating news has rolled in from Canberra this morning: it’s with a heavy heart that we have to report that Canberra’s unofficial mascot, the inexplicably hideous and adorable Skywhale, has died. He was two years old.
Skywhale is dead; long live skywhale. We barely knew thee.
Skywhale’s career, in case you don’t remember, began humbly in 2013, as he (or she? we’ll never know) was commissioned to kick off Canberra’s centenary celebrations in the sky. “The fuck is that?“, Australia genuinely asked, pointing to the sheepish blob with nipples for arms lingering in the heavens. That, friends, was Skywhale. An addition to the national hall of fame who got off to a shaky start, but who eventually stole hearts. Look at the mug on this thing. “LOVE ME,” it says. And we did.
According to the ABC, ACT’s Chief Minister Andrew Barr delivered the sad news on radio this morning, confirming that Skywhale would not feature at the Balloon Spectacular going down in Canberra this weekend.
Barr’s eulogy was offensively cold: “It had a certain number of flights, and all balloons do, they don’t last forever. I understand that it’s pretty well flown as many times, so no it won’t be in Canberra for the balloon spectacular this year.”
On Skywhale’s Wikipedia page, it has its “Role” listed as, “Hot air balloon.” But we all know he was so much more than that.
RIP Skywhale, 2013-2015.
Images by Stefan Postles via Getty.