We take a look at thecacera pacifica, known as the “Pikachu sea slug” in Japan, which many say is the real-life inspiration for the Pokémon character.
A couple of weeks ago, Japanese teacher-celebrity Osamu Hayashi introduced viewers to an adorable little sea slug known as thecacera pacifica on his popular Japanese television program Hayashi-sensei ga Odoroku Hatsumimi Gaku, or Professor Hayashi’s School of Surprising Second-Hand Knowledge. What makes this marine creature extra special is its incredible likeness to Pikachu, the star character of the popular Pokémon franchise, and while the species has made news in the past, its recent television spotlight introduced even more people to its unusual appearance, drawing attention to the sweet bright-coloured slug all over again.
こみつ、マタママ(*^^*) (@RJamGwp1Z5ohVpi) August 07, 2016
While die-hard fans of the franchise may have seen this slug before, it’s now captivating even more legions of admirers, particularly those who have recently come to love the series through the hugely popular mobile game Pokémon Go.
ポケモンGOが流行っているので、魚屋からもぎゃわいい生物紹介しておきますね。 『ウデフリツノザヤウミウシ』、配色でなんとなくわかったかもしれませんが、『ピカチュウウミウシ』なんてあだ名がついたキュートなウミウシちゃんです☺️💓 💓 https://t.co/9ZuP4tZ0Pn—
ウミウシの佐々 (@sazatinn0209) July 28, 2016
The slug’s likeness to the electric Pokémon needs no explanation, with its bright-coloured body and long, pointy black-tipped ears earning it the nickname “Pikachu Sea Slug” in Japan.
爆速 (@BK1TA) July 08, 2016
While the cute critter can be found along coastal regions in Japan like the Izu Peninsula, Bonin Islands, and Yakushima, it also appears on land too, in the form of cute figurines and pendants.
博物フェスにいってきました！ ピカチュウウミウシをゲットだぜ！ https://t.co/avZQLj86zr—
小野結貴花 (@yukika0319) July 24, 2016
ウミウシ展の準備が終わりました！ 後は当日を待つだけです！ ウミウシ達も緊張の面持ちです。 当日はマステも持って行きますよー！ https://t.co/6W128vRCdN—
makoron@ウミウシ展8/20.21 (@makoron3012) August 18, 2016
It’s not common to find sea slugs like these in aquariums, but if you’re in Japan, you can view approximately 25 species at Osaka Aquarium, where they have 120 animals on display.
限りなくさかなに近い (@chaetodon07) July 17, 2016
With its unusual colouring and otherworldy appearance, the gorgeous thecacera pacifica is not the only creature to invoke an anime doppelgänger in the well-known Pokémon series. To see more Pokémon in the real-world, check out this cute collection!