Eel-flavored catfish available for tasting at Gifu festival

Eating catfish is looked down upon by many people in Japan who regularly enjoy a plethora of ocean-raised fish. Even though the Japanese diet is no stranger to aggressively aromatic food such as natto, diners here simply cannot get past the stink of these bottom feeders.

Eel on the other hand is a much-loved freshwater fish that is a summer hit across Japan served on top of rice with a sweet sauce. But with this popularity comes a threat of overfishing and depletion of the species. Faced with this problem, Associate Professor Masahiko Ariji of Kinki University has found a way to raise catfish which taste like eel.

Since its announcement earlier this year, there has been a lot of curiosity over this flavor-modified fish. Now, attendees to the Catfish Festival in Hashima City, Gifu Prefecture will get to try a very limited supply before it gets released for public consumption.

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These Edo-period sketches of human skeletons are oddly adorable despite being totally creepy

The Edo Period was a time of great change for Japan, in just about every way possible. Perhaps one of the areas of biggest change, though, was science and medicine, thanks to the numerous scholars who spent years learning not only from Western sources but also from their own work.

One of the pioneers of medicine in the Edo Period was Toshuku Neguro, an ophthalmologist who sketched the first Japanese diagram of the human skeleton. While it was likely a fairly gruesome job, Neguro’s sketches are somehow almost…cute?!

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Osaka doctor wins Ig Nobel Prize for discovering kisses can reduce allergic reactions

Japan has had a pretty good track record with the annual Ig Nobel Prize. Scientists from all over the country have been awarded for nine years straight for their contributions to wacky and humorous research. Last year, Professor Kiyoshi Mabuchi recieved the Ig Nobel Prize in Physics for determining exactly how slippery a banana peel on the floor is.

Now, Dr. Hajime Kimata of the Osaka Prefecture Neyagawa Allergy Clinic has been given the Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine. However, rather than investigating a silly topic, Dr. Kimata’s findings were actually rather sweet: Kissing can reduce a person’s allergic reactions.

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Shooting star shakes up the Monday blues in Thailand【Video】

Many people that work a weekday 9-5 job consider Mondays to be the bane of their existence. Unsurprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of love for that first day back to the office after a fun weekend.

But for those caught in rush hour traffic this past Monday in Thailand, it was anything but dull and monotonous thanks to a shooting star sighting caught on camera by a number of drivers on their way to work.

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How many licks does it take to get to the center of the Earth? We’re about to find out

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Sendai Astronomical Observatory, which was opened in 1955 thanks to generous donations from the citizens of the city of Sendai and other contributors. Traditionally, the 60th anniversary gift is diamonds, and as everyone knows, diamonds are forever.

But don’t we also kind of hope that Earth is forever, too? One of the many items the observatory sells is a lollipop with the image of the earth printed on it. The effect will leave you…earthstruck.

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Scottish university researches discover new way to keep ice cream tasty and fresh

Early ice cream production methods date all the way back to B.C. times, and even today people are still coming up with new and improved ways to enjoy this tasty treat. In Japan, this sometimes means inventing weird ice cream flavors or combining it with other popular foods like ramen. In fact, some Japanese people even believe you can learn a thing or two about another person’s personality by watching how they eat their ice cream.

But Japan isn’t the only country with a fondness for ice cream. The United Kingdom, for example, recently ranked in as one of the top 10 ice cream-consuming countries in the world. Not only do people in the  U.K. enjoy satisfying their sweet tooth, they’re also coming up with ways to savor their ice cream longer, as a result of new research by two Scottish universities.

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We eat Electrical Udon and Blue Curry while watching guys shoot each other with electricity

A little while back, we brought you news of Electrical Udon developed by Kurare of Arienai Rika (“Unbelievable Science”) for an event to be held in Osaka. Well, that event has come and gone, and we were fortunate enough to be there to get a taste of his technicolor noodles along with some other off-color foods like blue rice topped with even bluer curry and fried chicken with a secret green sauce.

We also got to see some of the DIY science that made Arienai Rika a cult hit with science and tech enthusiasts in Japan.

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Japanese scientist creates neon udon: “This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen on the internet!”

We’ve seen some pretty crazy and colorful food here before on RocketNews24. We’ve witnessed flaming-red burger buns and ocean-blue curry, but never before have we seen something that’s basically the equivalent of eating a neon sign.

Until now. One Japanese Twitter user/mad cooking scientist created “electrical udon” and uploaded pictures for the world to recoil at the sight of. Why did he create this beautiful monstrosity? And most importantly, what does it taste like?

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Cat loves stinky foot, can’t help going back to get his paws on more

Some cats just love to sniff, lick and generally investigate their owners’ feet, and this little kitty is no exception! The only problem is, his reaction to a foot that smells a bit funky is…well, a little extreme to say the least.

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Artificial meteor showers a possibility for Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

In recent months there have been a few snags with the preparations for the 2020 Olympic games to be held in Tokyo. Poorly planned stadiums and allegations of copyright infringement have really been taking the wind out of everyone’s sails for what is usually an auspicious event.

At this point it might take a magical feat of celestial beauty to lift people’s spirits, like a thousand multi-colored shooting stars descending at once over the site of the games during their opening ceremony. But while they’re predictable, those hard-headed events known as meteor showers tend not to occur at our mere beck and call.

However, now a small team in Japan has nearly completed creating an artificial meteor shower that can be seen anytime and anywhere you want, and which may even be brighter and more colorful that the real thing.

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Great job: China’s “mosquito factory” churning out a stellar one million bugs per week!

It is often said that China is the factory of the world, and with good reason as wherever you are you’re likely able to point to at least a dozen items that were either made or assembled in PRC. While product quality and labor issues persist in some of their booming industries, there is one sector where output couldn’t be better: mosquito production!

That’s right. Somewhere in an area of Guangzhou known as Science City, a team is hard at work producing a whopping 1,000,000 mosquitoes per week. While this may sound like the premise to a cheesy sci-fi movie this level of production may end up saving hundreds if not thousands of lives.

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Will whiskey aged in space taste smoother? Suntory is set to experiment this month

Japanese brewing and distilling company Suntory Holdings Limited recently announced their plans to send samples of whiskey to the International Space Station in order to investigate the effects of zero gravity on the aging process.

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It’s a Beach Day miracle as even landlocked Japan swears it can smell the sea

Japan may have an image as an all-work and no-play sort of place, but you’ve got to give the country credit for coming up with Umi no Hi. Observed on the third Monday of July, Umi no Hi literally means “Ocean Day,” but “Marine Day” and “Beach Day” would also be acceptable translations. It’s a national holiday expressly created to give everyone a day off to go have fun at the beach, and it just might be the greatest socially accepted reason ever for blowing off work.

This year, Japan got so into the spirit of the holiday that even people in prefectures with no coastline swore they could smell the sea. But was this just a summery olfactory hallucination, or a legitimate Umi no Hi miracle?

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More lifehacks! The easiest way to keep champagne from going flat, tested

There are all kinds of urban legends and so-called old wives’ tales that proclaim the health benefits, or time-saving benefits, borderline magical properties, or terrifying dangers of doing X or Y. We’ve heard them all: Don’t eat within thirty minutes of swimming or you’ll get a cramp and literally die, bundle up when it’s cold outside or you’ll get a cold (by the way, oh my god, people, stop it with this; a cold is a virus, you don’t get it from the weather), an apple a day will keep the doctor away, a watched pot never boils, etc.

It’s almost like these old sayings and legends are the pre-Internet era equivalent of lifehacks! And since we’ve sort of been on a lifehacking streak recently, we decided to give one of these a test for ourselves: Specifically, the rumor that sticking a spoon into the neck of a champagne bottle will keep it from going flat.

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Forget tech or medicine, invention most Japanese are proud of is instant ramen

Japan’s best minds have contributed quite a few important inventions to the world over the years. Did you know that the portable ECG machine was invented in Japan, for example? So were electric rice cookers, DSLR cameras, CD players, Blu-ray discs, and gaming systems. Really, the list of Japanese tech that has become integral to our daily lives goes on and on.

However, if you ask Japanese people which invention their country should be proud of, it turns out a far humbler product jumps to mind for most: instant noodles.

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World’s smallest dinosaur egg just discovered in Hyogo Prefecture

Everyone has got dinosaurs on their mind at the moment since most of the world is going crazy for Jurassic World. The exception to this is of course, Japan who can’t watch the movie until August 5. (Why Japanese movie people? Why?!?!) Not to be left out of the giant lizard game, officials in Hyogo Prefecture have confirmed the discovery of a brand new dinosaur egg. By analyzing the fossil, it is estimated that this new egg is the world’s smallest dinosaur egg ever. That’s a gigantic discovery of the tiniest kind.

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Japanese scientists treat depressed male mice by making them remember happy times with lady-mice

You’ve probably never heard of Susumu Tonegawa before, but now’s your chance to fix that! Tonegawa won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1987 for the discovery of the genetics behind antibody diversity, and he’s been going strong ever since doing his best to keep all of us ungrateful ingrates healthy.

And now Susumu and his team have recently made another breakthrough discovery: treating depression. They were able to virtually reverse the effects of stressful situations on male mice by having them remember the good times they’d spent with lady-mice. How did they do it? Read on to find out!

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The joy of pancakes, and why they might kill you

Although hardly new, Japan has been undergoing something of a boom in pancake consumption in recent years. With several trendy new restaurants opening up around the country, there has also been a significant rise in the popularity of homemade pancakes as well. Yes, with its warm and fluffy texture and mildly sweet flavor it’s certainly hard to turn down a hotcake, isn’t it?

While everyone is having a good time with their pancakes, some researchers and medical professionals would like to remind us all that pancakes and similar flour based foods have the potential to not only make us very ill, but in some cases may lead to death.

But before you go cursing out these wet blankets of science for ruining yet another beloved food with their health warnings, there’s actually an incredibly easy way to not die from eating flapjacks as well.

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Boredom might be behind brilliant Dyson fan loop spotted in Japanese electronics store

James Dyson is kind of the mad scientist/rockstar celebrity of the admittedly probably not very exciting world of vacuum cleaner and fan design. The Dyson company’s innovations have more or less revolutionized the world of electronic devices that primarily, uh… suck and blow.

But it looks like Dyson’s genius designs are so innovative that with the right amount of boredom and free time, just being in the mere presence of Dyson products can apparently inspire creative epiphany, as this infinitely looping Dyson fan layout – spotted at a Japanese electronics store – seems to prove.

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Engineers teach robot to swing katana at 1,000 foes, hopefully don’t awaken its bloodlust 【Video】

We recently took a look at the latest iteration of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, which showed us how far scientists have come in building sophisticated robots, and yet how far those machines have left to go before they can get from point A to point B without falling down hilariously. But little did we know that while we were snickering at those clumsy creations, another group of engineers were building their own robot that can perfectly perform a severing strike with a samurai sword.

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