Animals

Gay penguin ‘power couple’ Sphen and Magic celebrate milestone and maybe true love does exist

Lily Wakefield January 11, 2022
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Sphen and Magic

Sphen and Magic. (Instagram/ SeaLifeSydneyAquarium)

Sphen and Magic, the gay penguin “power couple” who have fans around the globe, are celebrating their third anniversary.

Putting most humans to shame, after three years together at Sea Life Sydney Sphen and Magic have two children, have just built their second home and are as in love as ever.

The gay penguin couple welcomed their first chick, Lara, nicknamed Sphengic, in 2018.

Sphen had showed his love for Magic by giving him a “special stone”, and the pair got so broody that they began trying to incubate a rock.

So, keepers decided to give them a go with a real egg that a straight penguin couple was struggling to look after. They made incredible dads, taking turns to incubate the egg for 68 days until it hatched. 

In November 2020, Sphen and Magic hatched their second egg and welcomed a chick named Clancy.

The fathers-of-two are now entering their third breeding season together and have even moved house, according to penguin keeper Keira Ponting.

In an “update on the penguin power couple”, she said: “They’re still going strong this year, celebrating their third anniversary.

“They have moved house and they are in a brand new nest location, and are still one of our strongest couples in the exhibit.

“They are a great example to the rest of the colony. They’re inseparable and proving just how strong penguin bonds can be.

“We’ve noticed many of the newer penguin couples setting up their nests close to Sphen and Magic, which we think is them trying to learn from the best.”

Sphen and Magic found global fame when they were featured on the acclaimed Netflix show Atypical.

In one scene in the show’s third season,Sam, the show’s penguin-loving main character who has autism, tells his sister Casey that he’d be fine with her dating a girl because “you’d be like Sphen and Magic, the two male gentoo penguins at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium”.

He continued: “They courted each other and built a nest. When a negligent heterosexual penguin pair left their egg exposed to the elements the aquarium staff gave it to Sphen and Magic.

“They have a baby now. It’s name is Sphengic. I think they could have done better with the name.”

More: gay penguins, sphen and magic

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