Friendship knows no age, color, distance, and apparently, no species! Bonding develops when two beings recognize each other’s friendly energy.
One diver and his best friend, a fish, showed the world that even though theirs is too rare, true friendship is always deep, strong, long-lasting, and beautiful!
Over 25 years ago, Japanese diver Hiroyuki Arakawa met a local fish, Yoriko, an Asian sheepshead wrasse. This fish lives only in rocky reef areas in China, Japan, the Korean peninsula, and the Ogasawara Islands.
Also known as Kobudai in Japan, it is a hermaphrodite and can grow up to 100 cm in total length.
Almost thirty years ago, Hiroyuki was charged to oversee an underwater Shinto Shrine at the Hasama Underwater Park, near Tateyama, Japan.
Then, he found the wrasse on the brink of death and fed her five crabs every day for 10 days, and gained her trust. He has also helped the fish when she was injured, so their bond only strengthened over time.
Whenever this man dives to the shrine, he knocks on a piece of metal there, and Yoriko rushes to him. He then kisses her, and he is the only human she allows to do that!
Hiroyuki often posts selfies of him and his best friend on his Facebook page. He claims that, due to this unique friendship, he has “an amazing sense of accomplishment “ in his heart.
“I’d say we understand each other. Not that we can talk to each other, but it just happened mutually. I’m not sure if it’s the nature of the Kobudai or not, but it’s probably because there is a sense of trust between us.”
Isn’t this amazing?
Well, scientists often challenge the opinions we have of fish. Australian biologist, Culum Brown says that just because we do not interact with fish in a meaningful way, we believe they are stupid.
He even adds:
“Everyone thinks that fish have a three-second memory. I have no idea where that started.’’
Moreover, the 2016 study by Dr. Cait Newport from the University of Oxford on the Discrimination of human faces by archerfish, found that archerfish can be trained to recognize human faces even though it lacks the fusiform gyrus, which is the part of the human neocortex that is responsible for facial recognition.
Dr. Cait Newport explained:
“Scientists presented the fish with two images of human faces and trained them to choose one by spitting their jets at that picture. The researchers decided to make things a little harder. They took the pictures and made them black and white and evened out the head shapes. You’d think that would throw the fish for a loop. But no, they were able to pick the familiar face even then – and with more accuracy: 86%!”
Yet, while there is still a lot of research to be done in this field, it seems that being kind to fish can help you make them your loyal friends!