Japan’s ‘Underworld’ (no I’m not talking about the Yakuza!)

Do you love Mother Nature? Then I’m sure you’ve never failed to be mesmerised by the sea world. It just amazes me, knowing that there are thousands of living species in an entire kingdom of their own, far out of reach from human intervention. As an archipelago country, Japan is blessed with unrestricted access to marine life. The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) have a large collection of fascinating deep-sea images taken by manned submersibles such as the Japanese Shinkai 6500 (しんかい).

これは しんかい 6500です

The number, 6500 is the total length in meters that the submersible can reach and until recently the Shinkai 6500 used to have the greatest depth range of any manned research vehicle in the world!

Lego Cuusoo 21100 Shinkai 6500 Submarine. This set was released in 2010

The JAMSTEC website has a majestic collection of deep sea images as well as videos. Most of the images have been taken by the Shinkai 6500 or similar vehicles. Here is a very interesting deep sea image of a Japanese Octopus, belonging to the Order Octopoda family.Here is an image of a Jelly Fish, taken by the Shinkai 2000 in Sagami Bay. The orange colour, against the sea blue backdrop depicts nature at its purest form. This Jelly Fish belongs to the Genus Poralia family.

The following image, also taken at Sagami Bay, is truly awe-inspiring. The image is of a Comb Jelly taken at the depth of 1447 meters below sea! I don’t know about you but I would rather live under water among all this phenomenal natural beauty as opposed to living in space, what do you think?Everything in the Sea Kingdom seems to be in perfect harmony with nature, well that’s until humans start interfering…read on and I’ll tell you what I mean.

The Nomura Jellyfish is a gigantic jelly fish species which can reach lengths up to 2 m (6.6 ft.) in diameter and can weigh up to a staggering 200 kg (440 lb.). Here is a picture to show you the size comparison between a diver and a Nomura Jelly Fish.JapansUnder6.jpgIn recent times, the Nomura Jellyfish are seen as pests due to the fact that they are destroying the fisherman’s nets and catch… The news reports make them out to be some evil creatures that are out to attack the lively hoods of hardworking fishermen, however that’s far from the truth. The only reason the jelly fish are causing an issue is because they accidently get tangled in the fishermen nets; and in the process causing the nets to break due to their incredible weight. The nets used for fishing tend to be very expensive and as such end up costing the fisherman a lot of money. However it’s not only the nets that are destroyed but the Jellyfish squashes and poisons all the fish that are caught in the net with it, which only means further losses for the fishermen as they are unable to sell their catch.

In response to the concerns of the fishing industry, scientists are researching ways to create a chemical that would specially target the Nomura jellyfish, thus only killing itself and no other animal. An alternative to a ‘chemical attack’ would be to create a new type of living thing that could be created through genetic engineering and transgenic organisms which would become a major predator to the Nomura jellyfish! Personally I don’t believe in either option, the answer lies in sustainable fishing. The Government of Japan must review its stance on commercial fishing.

My favourite fish has to be the Japanese Polka-dot Boxfish, and yes I have a favourite fish…big deal! 🙂Looks like I’m not the only one in admiration of the Polka-dot Boxfish. In 2006, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its Bionic concept car, which was inspired by the shape of the Polka-dot Boxfish. According to research done by Mercedes-Benz the boxfish’s face is small in proportion to its overall length, and its streamlined surfaces promote air to move over it without creating the turbulence that decreases aerodynamic efficiency!

For more fascinating pictures check out JAMSTEC’s e-library of deep sea images on their official site here. Also why not attempt to make your own origami fish, origami-instructions.com is a good site for all sorts of origami, click here if you’re up for the challenge! Oh and just before I sign off why don’t you Google, ‘Japanese Spider Crab, be warned though it’s not for the fainthearted!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *