Do they really exist? The “Mysterious Formations” of Unknown Marine Life | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Do they really exist? The “Mysterious Formations” of Unknown Marine Life

From transparent aliens with red eyes drifting about, to floating yellow balloons, to skeleton UFOs glowing in rainbow colors...

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Eye-catching yellow balloon|Mizorefugu ●Ogasawara Islands, Tokyo

I want you to feel the profound and divine world of the sea, captured by one of Japan’s leading marine photographers. Feel the profound and divine world of the sea, as captured by one of Japan’s leading marine photographers.

Leafy seadragon ●Esperance, Australia

Body length: 30 cm. The Leafy Sea Dragon lives in the cold waters near Antarctica, where seaweed grows thickly. The way it twists and turns as it swims is like a dragon flying in the sky.

Originally, I was not a photographer. But when I dove into the sea and saw the beautiful creatures, I wanted to photograph them, so I started studying photography. I find their existence unfathomably fascinating.

So says photographer Yusuke Yoshino. He has been fascinated by the beauty of the oceans since the high economic growth period, when diving was not a common hobby, and has been taking pictures of the oceans around the world.

The surface area of the earth is about 510 million square kilometers. About 70% of this surface area is made up of oceans, which are inhabited by about 250,000 species of marine life, and this time I would like to introduce some of the most colorful and unique creatures.

At first glance, the black background may lead you to believe that the photos are of the deep sea, but most of them live at depths of 1 to 10 meters.

When you see these beautiful creatures, you don’t see the background. Then it’s better to photograph them so that the background is completely dark. I think it emphasizes the color and shape of the creature, which is what you see when you actually encounter it.

It is only since the spread of digital cameras that it has become possible to take many photos of marine life in this way. It was extremely difficult to take pictures of marine creatures moving around with film cameras, which had a limited number of shots.

Enjoy the colorful and fascinating creatures that live in a variety of environments in Japan and abroad.

Red-eyed aliens floating in the water
Taruma Eagle ●Aomi Island, Yamaguchi Prefecture

In its larval form, it is about 2 mm long. It is said to be the model for the movie “Alien. It is said to be the model for the movie “Alien.” It hollows out the contents of other creatures and eats them to make a home.

Red-eyed aliens floating in the water|Taruma eagle ●Aomi Island, Yamaguchi Prefecture

Sea Anemone Mantis Shrimp ●Kashiwajima, Kochi Prefecture

The transparent body of this shrimp (about 5 mm in diameter) emits a brilliant light when it mimics a colorful coral friend called an anemone.

Sea Anemone Mantis Shrimp ●Kashiwa Island, Kochi Prefecture

Sakura koshiori shrimp ●Kashiwajima, Kochi Prefecture

This shrimp has 10 legs, and its 1 cm body is covered with long hairs. It is called the “pink squat lobster” overseas.

Frisode-shaped shrimp ● Kashiwa Island, Kochi Prefecture

The larger of the two is thought to be the female, and the smaller the male. They are often seen in pairs. Body length is about 5 cm.

Frisode-shaped shrimp ●Kashiwa-jima, Kochi Pref.

Iriomote Island, Okinawa Prefecture

About 20 cm in length. It shines in fluorescent colors when exposed to sunlight. When encountered in person, it appears to have the same coloration as in this photo.

Otome Bella ●Iriomote Island, Okinawa Prefecture

Flamingo Tan – Bahama Islands, Caribbean Sea

The leopard-print membrane covering the outside of the shell is eye-catching. When touched, the membrane retracts into the shell and the shell becomes light pink. Body length is about 3 cm.

Flamingo Tan ●Caribbean Sea, Bahamas

Yellow-bellied jellyfish ● Aomi Island, Yamaguchi Prefecture

The umbrella part is about 1.5 cm long. When exposed to sunlight, it reflects light inside its body and appears green.

Yajirobei jellyfish ●Aomi Island, Yamaguchi Prefecture

Biwa crab ●Seomi Island, Yamaguchi Prefecture

A larva of about 1 cm in length, the Biwa crab is said to be extremely difficult to photograph as it moves its three legs like a fly.

Biwa crab ●Aomi Island, Yamaguchi Prefecture

A special glow only found in the early days of a crab’s life. ……
Leaf beetle ●Aomi Island, Yamaguchi Prefecture

When it grows up, it resembles a gobi, which is used as fishing bait, and sometimes it becomes round with a UFO-like umbrella (see photo below). The body length is 5 mm.

It has a special glow that comes only from its early life. ……|Hoshimushi ●Aomi Island, Yamaguchi Prefecture

Green-lipped pearl oyster ● Kashiwa Island, Kochi Prefecture

The green lipped pearl mussel feeds on seaweed called “hiramiru” and obtains energy by photosynthesizing chloroplasts inside its body. Body length is about 3 cm.

Green-lipped pearl oyster ●Kashiwa Island, Kochi Prefecture

Kudayagikumoebi, Jōgasaki, Shizuoka Prefecture

The size of the shell is about 7 mm. Its shell is about 7 mm in diameter. It has a shape between a shrimp and a crab. Its host is a coral species called “kudayagi”.

Kudayagi spider shrimp ●Jōgasaki, Shizuoka Prefecture

Yusuke Yoshino
He has been specializing in still life photography for more than 40 years. Since 2009, he has been photographing the oceans all over Japan with his campervan.

The World’s Most Beautiful Illustrated Book of Marine Animals” (Sogensha), written by Yusuke Yoshino, supervised by Masamichi Takeda

From the February 28, 2022 issue of FRIDAY.

  • PHOTO Yusuke Yoshino

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