Wednesday Weirdness: Something in the Water

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Wednesday Weirdness: Something in the Water

Despite making up seventy percent of the surface of our planet, much of the ocean is unknown to us. It is estimated that over eighty percent of the earth’s watery depths have yet to be explored by mankind. Really, it’s no wonder that there are so many stories about monsters lurking beneath the waves. 

But the untraversed waters are not the only places in the ocean where mysteries have confounded the human mind. Divers and explorers of the deep have often stumbled upon things they couldn’t immediately explain. I’m sure you’ve heard many stories of lost shipwrecks and giant squids, fantastical wonders of the sea– but a lesser known phenomenon of underwater crop circles discovered in the 1990s left scientists puzzled for years. 

What was causing these spirograph designs in the ocean floor?  Was there some sort of ritual going on here? 

The answer is yes– but not in the way you might think. 

These geometric patterns in the ocean floor were first documented and observed in 1995 just off the coast of southern Japan. Speculators wondered if the ocean currents themselves could be responsible for the underwater artwork while conspiracy theorists spoke of alien forces making their mark on the earth from below the waves, signals to others of their ilk. 

After observing the circles himself, underwater photographer Yoji Ookata set out to find an explanation for this mystery. Alongside a crew of photographers and videographers, Ookata observed the creation of the crop circles. They were the work of another species– just not the extraterrestrial kind.

The true culprit? Male pufferfish

As observed and documented by Ookata and his team, the pufferfish created the circles by swimming in and out of the sand, digging with their fins to create the divots and patterns. Over the course of several days, the fish meticulously created their own circles. For some, it wasn’t enough to just make the design, they went the extra length to decorate the patterns with shells and shiny rocks. 

The purpose? To attract a mate.

What had once been a confounding mystery turned out to simply be a mating ritual. The circles were not only aesthetically pleasing but they provided a suitable nest in the middle for female pufferfish to lay their eggs. As female fish approached, the males would kick up the sand at the centre of circles with their fins, drawing the female’s attention. If a female deemed the male (and his makeshift sand nursery) to be worthy she’d then proceed to lay her eggs in the centre.

Once the eggs were laid the male pufferfish abandoned all upkeep of the circles, leaving them to the whims of the big blue sea. 

What other mysteries within the deep could be explained by the ordinary and mundane? Do you think there are some things in the ocean that we’ll never understand? 

Not all mysteries can be explained so simply. You’ll need to do some investigating of your own in Doomensions: Pop-Up Mystery Manor, our brand new project with Curious Correspondence.  

Do you have what it takes to outwit some pesky spirits and banish a mischievous demon?

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