Sightings of rare fish in Japan spark fears of natural disasters
news.com.au -- Feb 04
Recent sightings of a rare, serpent-like sea creature — which in Japanese lore, is thought to be a harbinger of natural disasters — have sent Japan’s social media into a frenzy.

“This is no doubt evidence of a precursor to an earthquake,” wrote one Twitter user following two separate discoveries of “oarfish” off the north-coast prefecture of Toyama last week.

“And if it is in the Nankai Trough, it might be a huge quake,” they said.

Photos posted on Instagram showed one of the two deep-sea dwellers — which reportedly measured three and four metres, respectively. One was found on the shore of Toyama Bay and the other got caught in a fishing net near the port of Imizu.

According to Japanese legend, the fish will purposely rise to the surface and beach themselves whenever they believe trouble’s on the way. Residents have reported their presence before the arrivals of tsunamis and earthquakes in the past — including the 2011 Fukushima quake.

However, experts have said not to worry.

“The link to reports of seismic activity goes back many, many years, but there is no scientific evidence of a connection so I don’t think people need to worry,” explained Hiroyuki Motomura, a professor of ichthyology at Kagoshima University who spoke to the South China Morning Post.

“I believe these fish tend to rise to the surface when their physical condition is poor, rising on water currents, which is why they are so often dead when they are found,” he said.

Still, the sightings weren’t sitting so well with social media users this week.

“What is going on under Toyama Bay?” tweeted one concerned Japanese resident.

“Is something happening deep in the sea?” another asked.

Many on Japan’s 5-Channel chat site were reportedly referring to the oarfish — which translates to “Messenger from the Sea God’s Palace” — as a “warning” sign.

“There is no scientific evidence at all for the theory that oarfish appear around big quakes. But we cannot 100 per cent deny the possibility,” said Uozu Aquarium keeper Kazusa Saiba, speaking to CNN on the weekend.

“It could be that global warming might have an impact on the appearance of oarfish or a reason we’re just not aware of.”

News source: news.com.au
Aug 23
Japan's space agency said Thursday its Hayabusa2 space probe returning to Earth late next year will drop its capsule containing asteroid samples in Australia's southern desert. (Kyodo)
Aug 16
People in Japan hoping to predict the next big earthquake should ignore mysterious deep-sea fish after experts said rare sightings of the creatures on the country's beaches did not, as some had believed, foretell a seismic calamity. (theguardian.com)
Aug 08
Takehiko Fujita wouldn’t be able to do his job selling eye drops and pain relievers without his pocket translator. (Japan Times)
Aug 07
Well, there's no denying it any more: the size of Japanese mammaries have become larger. We know this thanks to a survey by lingerie manufacture Triumph International Japan, which recently made public the results of its research. (Japan Today)
Jul 28
A small experimental rocket launched by a Japanese aerospace startup failed shortly after takeoff Saturday as its onboard computer detected an abnormality and shut off the engine. It then crashed into the sea. (Japan Times)
Jul 25
The operator of the nuclear plant wrecked by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami said Wednesday that it will decommission four more reactors in northeastern Japan in addition to those already being scrapped. (Japan Today)
Jul 22
After reporting more than 5,000 cases in 2017, the first time that happened in more than 4 decades and nearly 7,000 cases in 2018, the first time since 1970, Japan continues to see the sexually transmitted infection, syphilis at high levels in the first half of 2019. (outbreaknewstoday.com)
Jul 17
Toyota Motor Corp. and Japan's space exploration agency said Tuesday they have signed a three-year agreement to jointly research and develop a rover to be sent to the Moon in 2029. (Kyodo)
Jul 16
The Tokyo metropolitan region experienced another cloudy and rainy day on Monday, marking the 18th straight day in which the country’s capital has seen less than three hours of sunshine per day. (Japan Today)
Jul 13
The aroma of vanilla extract can help to ease muscle pain and tension and may eventually factor into a treatment for stress headaches, a team of Japanese researchers has concluded. (Japan Today)