The symbol of Singapore
The Merlion is the symbol of Singapore. That's why I have chosen the logo and placed it on every post about Singapore, so people can immediately know I'm writing about the famous Lion City. The Merlion is half fish, half lion. The origin of the name for Singapore (Malay singa pura means lion city) connects Singapore with lions, although they probably never lived in the area. The founder of Singapore has most likely seen tigers, hence he should've named the settlement Harimaupura, which would probably result in the English version Hairypore. But luckily for Singapore, that has never happened.
The Merlion was designed in 1964 as an emblem for the Singapore Tourism Board and has later become a symbol of Singapore (Singaporeans know how to promote their tiny country, hats down to that).
There are 5 statues of the Merlion in Singapore today. I've seen three of them. The most famous is in the so called Merlion park, which is located in Singapore's downtown, close to the Fullerton Hotel (as seen on photos below). Behind it is a small replica. The biggest is located on Sentosa island and is 37m tall (as seen on the photos above). You can go inside that one, watch a cartoon and go on top and see Singapore from his mouth.
See some of my photos of the Merlion. I took them in December 2005 and December 2008.
See also my high-definition Merlion photo here>>
There is a statue of a fish with a lion head in Hsinchu (Taiwan), that resembles the Merlion. But this one looks more like a dragon mixed with fish, the face looks very fishy, though. I'm not sure, whether it's a copy or not.