Staff Writer: Maya Arruda
The formerly endangered shark species, Ikeamus blahajii, has finally been officially taken off the endangered species list thanks to the tireless efforts of internet activists.
Commonly known as the Blahaj shark (or simply as Blahaj), this shark is important worldwide due to its important role in marine ecosystems and as a vital aspect of modern culture.
Blahaj has a blue top half and a white undercarriage, perfect for blending in with marine habitats. Its sclera are black with an orange rim and white pupil.
Unlike most shark species, it has one row of nonregenerative teeth.
The Blahaj is soft to the touch and is very passive, often very friendly and cuddly to humans, even when found in the wild.
Blahaj sharks have two dorsal fins, one large and one small. The adults of the species reach up to 1 meter in size (39 in), while adolescents are normally 55 cm long (22 in).
Blahaj can be found in large family units or as lone swimmers, though they will socialize with other species.
Blahaj has been under threat of extermination since 2019 due to disturbances in the Blahaj breeding grounds. These disturbances caused no new sharks to be born, threatening the global population.
Experts had projected the Blahaj sharks would go completely extinct by April 2022.
The Blahaj shark has become an LGBTQ+ icon over social media due to the similarities in coloring between the Blahaj and the trans flag.
The Blahaj shark was also featured in a series of ad campaigns in favor of passing the Swiss same-sex marriage referendum in 2021, which allowed for the marriage and adoption rights of same-sex couples.
A special coloration variation of the Blahaj shark, now identified as the subspecies Ikeamus blahajii transea, was spotted in Canadian waters.
This only further solidified the Blahaj as a trans rights symbol, more important than ever in these trying times for the trans community.
The Blahaj is even more popular as a media figure in Asia, becoming the representative mascot for IKEA in Japan and starring in a Japanese tiny apartment advertising campaign.
Blahaj has also made a cameo appearance in a Hong Kong marketing strategy promoting a local branch of IKEA.
Special Blahaj merchandise has been sold in Taiwan and Malaysia, namely special Blahaj shopping bags and Blahaj dessert buns.
A Change.org petition was made in 2021 to save this global cultural icon. As of March 2023, 8,434 people have signed this petition to preserve this beloved species.
“The thought that there will be a time in the near future that nobody will be able to realize the joy of owning Blahaj is a very concerning thought, and a world without Blahaj is a worse world overall,” petition founder Jackie Whiteside said.
“Discontinuing Blahaj would be more damaging to the trans experience than anything any TERF could ever do,” petition signer Ruth Harris wrote.
“The world is a better place with Blahaj,” another petition signer stated.
These activists have been organizing on the social media sites Reddit and Instagram through the tag #Blahaj. Through coordinated efforts over social media, these passionate masses have saved the Blahaj by raising public awareness and support for this majestic creature.
Ikeamus blahajii breeding grounds have been relocated to Indonesia after skillful relocation by experts.
Birth rates of the Blahaj shark have begun to rise once more, averting an almost inevitable extinction. Blahaj populations in some areas may be lower than expected, but this is assumed to be only a temporary setback.
It is expected that Blahaj populations should return to normal levels in due time.
Arguably, saving Blahaj stands as a testament to the power of social media activism and to the inner strength the Blahaj shark imbues to all that behold it.
Thanks to the efforts of everyone who participated in the conservation efforts, the world managed to keep a wonderful piece of happiness alive.
*This article is written as a parody for the Torchure.