Why a sea lion? That’s a question we get every now and then, most recently at FOSDEM.
Here is the story:
Our Founder Monty likes animals in the sea. For MySQL, he picked a dolphin, after swimming with them in the Florida Keys. For the MariaDB sea lion, there was a similar encounter.
It happened when Monty and his older daughter My were snorkeling on one of the islands in the Galapagos. Something big, brown and fast suddenly appeared at an arm’s distance, laughing in their faces. Fond memories of this fast and funny creature, scaring the tourists, popped into Monty’s mind when asked picking a logo for MariaDB. He wanted to adhere to the tradition of animals as symbols of Open Source projects.
Do I have pictures of My posing with a sea lion from our Galapagos trip in the early #mysql days 2002? Yes I do. But My promised to become a Platinum Sponsor for @mariadb_org if I refrain from posting them. So here's one of myself and my daughter instead. pic.twitter.com/Gth4Bh2cMv
— Kaj Arnö (@kajarno) February 4, 2019
Despite some initial confusion between seals and a sea lions, the early employees approved of the idea. His younger daughter Maria was too young at the time, but she has fondly given a retroactive approval of the sea lion as the symbol of MariaDB (as can be seen from the below photo).