Although the coldest part of the year has officially passed, it is still cold here. The main difference is we now have variations – cold and dry or cold and wet. It won’t be long until the dust storms start.
There are a few signs of life – mume in full blossom, buds appearing on my hydrangeas, new shoots from tulips, and songs from a bird I can’t identify.
My last post was about a new species of sea cucumber. This time, we have a new take on a known species.
From the Japan Times: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/02/18/national/visitors-flock-see-fukuoka-aquariums-albino-sea-cucumber-stroke-good-luck/
FUKUOKA – A rare white namako (sea cucumber) has wowed visitors to an aquarium in the city of Fukuoka recently, prompting many to make their wish for good luck on the marine creature.
The white sea cucumber is thought to be an albino, with its pigments mutated for unexpected reasons. The rare marine life recently debuted at the Marine World Uminonakamichi aquarium in Fukuoka.
Aquarium official Takumi Orii pitched the new exhibit, saying: “It may bring good luck. We’d like people to come and see it.”
The namako is about 15 cm long and weighs 75 grams. A local fisherman found it in January and offered it to the aquarium.
With the assistance of aquarium staff, visitors can even “feel” the namako by touching it, the aquarium said.
My inner cynic is snickering at the thought of people touching an albino sea cucumber for good luck. Maybe they’ll learn something at the aquarium (although I’m convinced that some people think that aquariums are merely holding tanks for sushi bars)
Regular readers of Wild in Japan will no doubt remember that namako is written in kanji as (海鼠), a fact most Japanese don’t know.