Story at glance

  • Sphen and Magic are a same-sex penguin couple living at the Sea Life Aquarium in Melbourne, Australia.
  • In October 2018, the couple successfully hatched their first child, Sphengic.
  • Now, the couple is welcoming a fourth member to their family.

The gay Australian power couple that took the world by storm two years ago is welcoming a new member of their family in an episode of the fan favorite series.

Sphen and Magic are the proud parents of the latest Gentoo Penguin chick hatched in the aquarium’s Sub-Antarctic Zone this fall. For the second time, the couple adopted an egg from a heterosexual couple that had two. 

“We are beyond excited to welcome the new penguin chicks to our colony. They are doing really well and gaining weight. They started at around 95grams, now our oldest is almost 2kg and the youngest is sitting at around 399grams,” said Kerrie Dixon, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Supervisor, in a release


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The same-sex penguin couple made history in 2018 as the aquarium’s first Gentoo penguins to successfully incubate and raise a chick. Lara, their daughter, is already channeling oldest child energy, learning to build a nest and incubate eggs this breeding season as the youngest member of the colony. 

“Lara is now two years old and surprising us everyday with how independent she is,” an aquarium spokesperson told Out magazine. “Despite still being relatively young, she attempted to take part in this year’s breeding season. She and her partner set up a nest and carefully watched over it but unfortunately weren’t successful in hatching an offspring.”


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Penguins, including Gentoo penguins, are one of several species where same-sex couples are relatively common. This couple's love story started after a whirlwind romance collecting "pebbles" to create a nest, and has only grown, according to the aquarium's website, which says Sphen and Magic now have more pebbles than any other couple. And no, there's no "mom" or "dad" penguin — they alternate daily between patrolling the nest and incubating their next egg, setting a strong example for Lara. 

“We look forward to seeing how she goes next year and whether she’ll give Sphen and Magic a little grand penguin chick,” the spokesperson told Out magazine.


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Published on Nov 23, 2020