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Portsmouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium is inviting visitors to join their celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth this weekend.
As part of the event, staff will be asking visitors to chant the magical words from Esio Trot – one of Dahl’s best known children’s stories – in a bit to get their resident collection of terrapins and turtles to grow.
In the story a tiny tortoise is apparently miraculously encouraged to grow by the chanting of a mysterious spell which begins ‘ESIO TROT, ESIO TROT’.
Blue Reef Aquarium’s Hannah Butt said: “Roald Dahl has been such an amazing influence on so many of us as we were growing up that we wanted to mark the centenary of his birth here at the aquarium.
“We will be putting up a selection of his most famous quotes around the aquarium but we are also inviting our visitors to carry out a little experiment to see whether the magical spell will have the same effect on our turtles and terrapins as it did on Mrs Silver’s tiny tortoise Alfie in the book.
“We’ll measure each of our turtles in the morning and then re-check them again in the evening to see if they have grown as a result of visitors reciting the spell to them,” she added.
From the hidden world of UK waters, Blue Reef, Portsmouth transports visitors to the spectacular ‘underwater gardens’ of the Mediterranean and the stunning beauty of tropical waters – home to everything from seahorses and puffer fish to living corals and tropical sharks.
At the aquarium’s heart is a giant tropical ocean tank where an underwater walkthrough tunnel offers incredibly close encounters with a huge range of exotic coral reef species.
More than 40 naturally-themed displays reveal the sheer variety of life in the deep from native sharks and rays to the cute otters and colourful reptiles and amphibians!
 The Blue Reef Aquarium, Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, Portsmouth. Open 10am daily. For more information call 02392 875222, or find us on Facebook.
Issued by Blue Reef Aquarium. For more information please contact Hannah Butt or Jenna MacFarlane on 02392 875222.

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