Amazing Little Puffer Fish Creates Ocean Floor ‘Crop Circles’

Recently a man from Japan, Yoji Ookata, who has dedicated his life to uncovering the mysteries of the deep oceans discovered something very amazing. He had obtained his scuba license at the age of 21 and has since spent the last 50 years exploring and documenting his discoveries off the coast of Japan.

He was on a dive near Amami Oshima at the southern tip of the Japan, when he spotted something he had never encountered before: rippling geometric sand patterns nearly six feet in diameter almost 80 feet below sea level. He soon returned with colleagues and a television crew from the nature program NHK to document the origins what he dubbed the “mystery circle.”

By using underwater cameras the team discovered the 'artist' is a small puffer fish only a few inches in length. This fish swims tirelessly through the day and night to create these amazing sculptures using the gesture of a single fin. The team through careful observation found the circles serve a variety of crucial ecological functions, the most important of which is to attract mates.

Apparently the female puffer fish are attracted to the hills and valleys within the sand and swim them carefully to discover the male fish who is waiting for them. The pair then eventually lay eggs at the circle’s center and the grooves later act as a natural buffer to ocean currents that protect the delicate offspring. The scientists also learned that the more ridges there were within the sculpture, it resulted in a much greater likelihood of the fish pairing.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration less than 5% of the world’s oceans have been explored. This means that 95% of what lies deep underwater on Earth has yet to be seen by human eyes. If humans are just making discoveries this significant now, it really makes you wonder what else is down there. Only 95% more to go!


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