After seeing a number of various pictures popping up around the internet, we were curious: Why does it seem like stingrays are always smiling? Surely there had to be some kind of rationale for them doing so. While we’d like to think it had something to do with the fact that they got to kick it in the ocean with a ton of other cool marine life all day, we knew that there had to be something else. For this reason, we made the trip over to Newport Aquarium; one of the largest and most impressive aquariums in the nation. With a number of stingrays in their various exhibits, we were sure to crack the mystery behind those famous smiles.

Upon arriving, all of the stingrays were more than eager to answer our questions. So, we pulled out our stingray mind reader and went to work. One stingray in particular seemed to be too stoked to answer our questions for us to ignore him. Hoping to keep his identity secret, however, we’ll simply refer to him as “Ray.”

CityNova: So, Ray, we have to ask… we know you’re wearing that same goofy smirk that many of your stingray brethren are. What’s the deal with that?


Ray: Well, the truth is that there’s not much to not be smiling about? We stingrays get to glide through the water all day pretty effortlessly and even though we have a few natural predators, we’re pretty good at disappearing. It’s pretty funny watching stupid sharks look for us and never find us in the sand.

CityNova: That makes a lot of sense, and we bet having the right kind of company helps out, too!

Ray: Oh, of course! We don’t get what’s going on with all of these creepy clown sightings around the area, but we love our Clownfish friends. What’s not to like when you get to chill with them all day? Of course they’re always hiding in those anemone, but they’ll come out to hang with us. I can’t speak for all the rays out there, but they’re the friends for anemone… eh, eh?


CityNova: That was a pretty bad joke.

Ray: You’re right. I’ll show myself out.

With that, Ray went gliding off into the depths of the exhibit; smiling the whole way.

Matt Teaford is a meatatarian, craft beer enthusiast, and follower of his spirit animal, which he believes to be a Kodiak Bear. He can often be found hiking in the backwoods of Kentucky or bragging about both his hometown of Cincinnati and expansive knowledge of music. Except Polka. He knows nothing about Polka.

Matt founded CityNova because he wants people to experience life for all that it’s worth. He also thinks that nap time should be offered by all employers. Since he found no such opportunity, he thought a startup might be his best chance.

He’s also a political Independent who vies for true transparency and accountability in government, but that’s neither here nor there…