For years, crop circles have been a topic of mystery to surface-dwelling humans, but how many people have spared a thought for under the sea?
Off the coast of Amami Ooshima in Kyushu, divers and tourists alike have spotted strangely intricate geometric circles without knowing their origin. Was it paranormal activity or possibly locals with a shovel and too much time on their hands? Guess again! The culprit, it seems, is a particularly artistic new species of pufferfish!
▼ “Blub blub blub?” (read: “What the heck made this? An alien?”)
Just recently, researchers discovered that a new species of pufferfish (or fugu in Japanese) was making these beautifully symmetrical patterns on the ocean floor. They managed to catch the strange sand sculpting on video from start to finish over the course of several days.
▼ Now comes the exciting part!
The male pufferfish, eager to provide a safe and well-decorated home for his female to lay her eggs, spends anywhere from a week to nine days digging out this two-meter-wide sand design with his pectoral and tail fins. When he’s done, the female deposits her eggs in the center while the male stands guard along the perimeter of their fancy home until the little ones hatch.
That’s one tough and dedicated daddy, even if he is only about 10 centimeters long!
▼ You wanna mess with my eggs? Huh? Huh!?