As far as the animal kingdom goes, fish are generally not considered the brightest creatures in the bunch. That’s not to say they don’t deserve to be respected as much as any other animal, but it may be part of the reason they’re not as beloved as cats and dogs.
After all, fish aren’t known for being loving or affectionate, either. They make nice pets to keep in a tank and stare at for a while, but it’s not like you can pet them or be affectionate with them!
One fish in Japan, however, might just break a few stereotypes. Not only is he full of personality, but he has an amazing relationship with a human. Just wait until you see this unlikely friendship in action!
There are certain animals that practically become the mascot for the areas in which they’re found. Much of the time, this kind of portrayal is reserved for the stuff of legends, like the Loch Ness monster or the “Bigfoot” of the Pacific Northwest.
There are plenty of other times in which a particular species—one that is very much real—is directly associated with the places that they call home. Kiwis, for example, are special birds native only to New Zealand.
Teofilo / Wikimedia Commons
With that in mind, the sacred Shinto shrine beneath the surface of Japan’s Tateyama Bay has long been known for its historical and spiritual importance. But over the course of the past 25 years, it’s become notable for another reason, too.
Tdk / Wikimedia Commons
Entrusted with overseeing an underwater shrine beneath the surface of Japan’s Tateyama Bay, as well as guiding others who would like to visit it, local diver Hiroyuki Arakawa has developed a strong and deep relationship with much of the marine life in the area.
Yet there is one magnificent fish in particular whose story you absolutely need to see! Every time Hiroyuki goes diving, he makes a point of hammering a bell by the underwater shrine to summon his special friend. What happens after he does is the stuff of myths…
That huge fish swimming alongside Hiroyuki is an Asian sheepshead wrasse named Yoriko. Not only does he have an unusually human-like face, but he has a relationship with Hiroyuki that most people wouldn’t think fish could be capable of!
In fact, Yoriko has such a close relationship with his human friend that he allows the diver to touch him. He doesn’t even flinch at all when Hiroyuki pets him! Who would have known that a fish could be so affectionate?
At one point, Hiroyuki even started taking off some of his equipment while still deep underwater. Anybody who knows anything about diving could tell you that this was dangerous, but Hiroyuki wanted to do something special…
Hiroyuki and Yoriko have actually known each other for a long time, and you have to watch the video to understand the significance of what happens when they see each other again! This might just change the way we all think about fish…
Fish aren’t ordinarily known for being affectionate, at least not toward humans. Yet, Yoriko’s friendly behavior is enough to give pause to anyone who would have thought that they were incapable of such a thing!
Whether fish have the capacity for true intelligence (or even emotion) is still being debated, but either way, Yoriko and Hiroyuki’s special relationship proves that these wonderful creatures should be valued as much as any other animal!
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