Day 16

Day 16

Who made the mysterious underwater crop circles?

The circles were first seen in 1995 by divers off the coast of south Japan, near Amami-Oshima Island in the Ryukyu islands. Their mysterious source remained an enigma until 2013, when photographer Yoji Ookata found the creators of the circles. (Pictures of the circles can be seen in the article linked below).

The artist of underwater crop circles may surprise you. The beautiful geometric patterns are not made by aliens and they are not a hoax.

Ookata, who had devoted fifty years of his life to unraveling earth’s mysteries, discovered that the enigmatic designs are made by the white-spotted pufferfish. And the reason they make them will tug at your heartstrings.

They do it for love.

The male pufferfish creates exquisite, intricate designs in the sand on the ocean floor to attract a mate. They have been known to use seashells, coral and different colours of sand fragments to decorate their designs. Also impressive is that the puffers are only 12cm long, but the circles they create are up to 7 feet in diameter, which takes them 7 to 9 days to make.

That is just the beginning of a detailed and adorable courtship ritual. When a female chooses a design that pleases her, she lays her eggs in the center circle. The females leave once the eggs are laid and the male stands guard protecting the eggs for about a week. Then they stop up-keeping the design, allowing the ocean currents to wipe their artistry away, moving on to a new spot to start the process again.

I have had the great pleasure of meeting a pufferfish at an aquarium and I find them to be lovely, curious and friendly creatures. I didn’t need a sand circle to fall in love.


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