Meet Nirvana - the UK's favourite shark

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Easter 2013: a star was born at Sparsholt.

Who is Nirvana?

No, not the 1990s grunge band. Nirvana, a bamboo shark, shot - or rather, hatched - to fame as part of Channel 4's Easter Egg Live series, showcasing one of nature's most ingenious inventions, the egg.

Sparsholt College lecturer and fish expert Adrian Love, was approached by Channel 4's production company for advice on potential candidates for filming and they decided to try and capture a bamboo shark egg hatching live from its mermaid’s purse egg.

Adrian, alongside aquatics instructor and technician Ellen Ashford, worked with the filming team to shoot some archive material and the egg then travelled to the London studios ready for a live broadcast and updates via shark-cam. Perhaps a little camera-shy, Nirvana didn’t hatch whilst in the studio hatchery, but excitement was growing and on her return to Sparsholt’s national Aquatic Training Centre, the live webcam feed was continued due to popular demand. on Monday 8 April 2013, the case was gently cut open by Ellen and Adrian posted the good news: "I'm delighted to report that we have just delivered a healthy, happy girl (shark)! 15cm long, 30g." The assisted hatching went without a hitch.

Come (as you are) to meet Nirvana

At Sparsholt's annual Countryside Day, staff and students will be showing the fisheries, hatching and aquastics facilities to the public and answering questions. There will be feedings of different aquaria throughout the day and also mini-talks planned, including one about Nirvana no doubt!  And of course there will be eggs under microscopes to have a look at as they develop.


Discover more about Nirvana

Nirvana on film

Carefully releasing Nirvana from her purse egg..

Weighing and measuring Nirvana, and identifying her as female...


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