A strange and wonderful world..
The oceans hold many secrets, with only 5% of them thought to have been explored. Year on year, as a result of tireless work and unwavered interest, marine biologists, divers and underwater photographers shed some light on the mysteries of the deep.
One such person is Yoji Ookata; a photographer who has spent the last 50 years exploring the coast of Japan.On a dive off the southern coast of the country, Yoji stumbled upon this amazing spectacle; wondrous geometric sand patterns, some 6 feet in diameter.
Curious, he used a video camera to investigate what caused these structures. It was a tiny puffer fish. The fish, who is only a few centimetres in length, artistically carves these creations using only a single fin. It was discovered that these were not simply an act of artistic demonstration, but rather served several ecological purposes. The most important purpose lies in attracting a mate. The male fish create these platforms to attract a female and it seems that the success of the pairing is correlated to the amount of ridges in the structure. If the female fish decides to stick around, their eggs are then laid at the centre of the circle. The ridges and grooves then offer protection to the vulnerable offspring against the ebb and flow of ocean currents.
Images from Yoji Ookata