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'Mermaids' swim with sharks in South Carolina Aquarium

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Most people have been to an aquarium by the time they're in middle school.

But you've probably never seen an attraction like the one that's soon to be at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston.

The World-Famous Weeki Wachee Mermaids will entertain guests at the aquarium March 28 through April 3.

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Hailing from Spring Hill, Florida, the mermaids swim among hundreds of animals, including fish, manatees and 8-foot-long sharks.

During each show, the mermaids delight guests with a highly technical and choreographed routine to musical numbers.

The mermaids travel nationwide, but they usually perform at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Florida.

At the upcoming exhibit at the South Carolina Aquarium, a limited number of guests will be able to experience a special date night event, Mermaids & Me, designed for all ages and featuring an exclusive mermaid performance in the aquarium's Great Ocean Tank. Each attendee will have the opportunity to meet and take a photo with a friendly mermaid on the land.

A mermaid kiss. #mermaniaPosted by South Carolina Aquarium on Friday, March 27, 2015

Posted by Weeki Wachee Springs on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Disney to donate to Make-A-Wish-Foundation with #ShareYourEars

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Disney Parks, including Disney Land in Anaheim, California, are encouraging parkgoers and fans to post pictures on social media featuring some rendition of themselves with Mickey Mouse ears. 

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For each photo uploaded on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #ShareYourEars, Disney will donate $5 up to $1 million to Make-A-Wish America and Make-A-Wish International. Participants are encouraged to get creative with their posts. Photos on ShareYourEars.org show people using items like balloons, CDs and soccer balls to create the appearance of the famous mouse ears.

“The more creative the better,” Disney wrote in a blog post.

The campaign will run through March 14.

Disney has not specified if there is a limit to how many photos one person can submit.

According to the Disney blog, the company has partnered with Make-A-Wish for over 35 years, making the wishes of more than 100,000 children with life-threatening medical conditions come true.

In celebration of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, Disney Parks will donate $5 to Make-A-Wish America and...Posted by Disneyland on Saturday, February 20, 2016

In celebration of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, Disney Parks will donate $5 to Make-A-Wish - up to $1...Posted by Disneyland on Thursday, February 18, 2016

A photo posted by @golden_chica12 on Feb 21, 2016 at 12:06pm PST

A photo posted by Annette Bunch (@mamabunch) on Feb 21, 2016 at 12:06pm PST

A photo posted by Michelle Carranza (@mmcarranza21) on Feb 21, 2016 at 11:57am PST

A photo posted by Jennifer Kurth (@thefourthkurth) on Feb 21, 2016 at 11:55am PST

A photo posted by tina ly johnston (@tina) on Feb 21, 2016 at 11:49am PST

A photo posted by Disneyland® Paris (@disneyland_paris_) on Feb 21, 2016 at 4:45am PST

Seattle Aquarium cancels octopus mating event, fears cannibalism

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To celebrate Valentine's Day, officials at the Seattle Aquarium wanted to allow visitors to watch a live mating between two octopuses.

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The annual octopus mating event is open to the public and was set to take place at noon on Sunday. 

But aquarium workers couldn't find an appropriate mate for Kong, a 70-pound octopus. They canceled the "blind date" event because they feared that he would eat any female octopus with whom they could potentially pair him. All the female octopuses whom they had considered weighed 30 to 40 pounds -- half Kong's weight.

Instead, divers swam with the giant "bachelor" octopus while visitors watched.

According to Huffington Post, giant Pacific octopuses like Kong live between 3 and 5 years. They can grow to be 150 pounds and up to 20 feet long, according to the aquarium's website. 

The eight-legged cephalopods are terminal breeders who die soon after mating and reproducing. 

We’ve made some changes to our #OctopusWeek event! At noon on February 14, instead of our octopus blind date event,...Posted by Seattle Aquarium on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Join us at noon today to see divers swim with Kong, our male giant Pacific #octopus, in the Window on Washington Waters...Posted by Seattle Aquarium on Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Valentine's Day #OctoFact—you might want to kiss a red octopus but we don’t advise it: their venom can cause very painful local effects. #OctopusWeekPosted by Seattle Aquarium on Sunday, February 14, 2016

With arm spans reaching up to 20 feet across, giant Pacific octopuses can more than wrap their arms around you—and give you triple the love with their three hearts. #ValentinesDay #OctopusWeekPosted by Seattle Aquarium on Sunday, February 14, 2016

Killer whale dies at SeaWorld San Antonio

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A killer whale named Unna died Monday at SeaWorld San Antonio after suffering from an infection.

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The fungal infection that the 18-year-old orca contracted was called Candida. She contracted the infection earlier this year and began undergoing treatment in September.

"Unna had been under the constant care of the SeaWorld veterinary team and outside experts for the past several months," the company wrote on Facebook. "The team had developed a novel treatment plan in consultation with leading medical experts around the country. While there were some indications that the treatment was having a positive effect, Unna had remained in serious condition and under 24/7 care." 

Veterinarians gave Unna medications that had previously not been used with killer whales. Side effects included loss of appetite, which her veterinary team supplemented with fluids.

The park will conduct a necropsy to determine cause of death.

“This is a difficult time for the SeaWorld team and all of Unna’s many fans, and we thank you for your thoughts and well wishes,” SeaWorld wrote in a statement.

Unna is the third whale to die at the Texas park in the last six months. In November, Stella, a 2-year-old beluga whale, died after being treated for gastrointestinal issues. A newborn beluga died in July after being born premature.

The San Antonio park canceled all killer whale shows Monday. Last month, the company announced it would phase out orca shows at its San Diego location.

Read more here.

We are saddened to share the passing of Unna today.Unna had been under the constant care of the SeaWorld veterinary...Posted by SeaWorld on Monday, December 21, 2015

See the world's tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster, soon to be built

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The Valrayn Birdseye View roller coaster, opening for the first time in the summer of 2016, will set all kinds of records, and we've just gotten our first look at it, albeit a virtual one.

Cedar Point, an amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, released a virtual video of the Valravn in action and this thing is just beastly.

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The day it opens it will be the tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster on planet Earth. The coaster was designed by Bolliger & Mabillard in Monthey, Switzerland and is the 100th coaster they have created, Gizmodo noted.

The Valravn will also be the world’s ______est in seven other categories.

Cedar Point counted the ways the Valravn roller coaster will be a record-breaker:

1. Tallest dive coaster (223 feet)2. Fastest dive coaster (75 mph)3. Longest dive coaster (3,415 feet)4. Most inversions on a dive coaster (three)5. Longest drop on a dive coaster (214 feet)6. Highest inversion on a dive coaster (165 feet)7. Most roller coasters taller than 200 feet at one amusement park (5)8. Most rides at one amusement park (72)9. Most steel roller coaster track at one amusement park (52,125 feet/9.9 miles)10. Most roller coaster track at one amusement park (60,110 feet/11.4 miles)

Will you brave the Valravn?

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZEWkK0WJZjc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Must-see: World's longest inflatable water slide gets ready for U.S. debut

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Looking for some summer fun, thrill-seekers? Soon you may be able to cool off with a ride on the world's longest inflatable water slide.

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<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/must-see-world-s-longest-inflatable-water-slide-ge/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/must-see-world-s-longest-inflatable-water-slide-ge.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script>[View the story "Must-see: World’s longest inflatable water slide gets ready for U.S. debut" on Storify]

WATCH: Thrill-seekers climb down Coney Island coaster after ride gets stuck

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The Coney Island Cyclone broke down midride Saturday, forcing thrill-seekers to climb down the iconic roller coaster, the New York Post reports.

Apparently, the car came to a halt right before a large drop on the 88-year-old attraction. The 24 people on board were stranded for five minutes before officials led them to safety, first-time rider Matt Levin told the Post

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"It was a little scary," Levin said. "I mean, you look down and you’re pretty high up. And so it was a little bit scary. But at the end of the day … you know, I always wanted to go on the Cyclone. Some people had warned against it, and now I know why."

The ride also broke down March 29 with 12 riders on board, the Post said.

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/thrill-seekers-climb-down-coney-island-coaster-aft/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/thrill-seekers-climb-down-coney-island-coaster-aft.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script>[View the story "Thrill-seekers climb down Coney Island coaster after ride gets stuck" on Storify]

Hybrid wood-steel coaster opens in southern California

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Twisted Colossus, which is part wood, part steel, is expected to be wildly popular this summer and possibly set the standard for how to revamp an old wooden roller coaster.

Six Flags Magic Mountain is home to the 4,990-foot-long wood-steel hybrid ride, which opens to the general public Saturday.

The new ride has had steel tracks added to the 1978 wooden structure, Colossus, according to the Los Angeles Times. The structure features dueling coasters with slight differences in route. The first part of the coaster is done on the blue track, and the second part is on the green portion, according to the Times report.

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The most unusual feature about the new ride is a "high-five element" that, when done properly, places both trains side-by-side at 90-degree angles allowing for a potential high-five; the execution of the actual high-five is reportedly undoable, but it's one-of-a-kind nonetheless.

Idaho's Rocky Mountain Construction developed Twisted Colossus and similar upgrades to wooden coasters at Six Flags throughout the nation are expected in the coming years.

Watch a video of the ride's test run here, and read more about it here.

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