Back last year, I visited Ishigakijima, an island south of mainland Okinawa. It was my first time visiting the Ryukyu Islands, and my first real dive since getting my licence back in the U.K. There, in the warm, tropical waters, I was to meet one of nature’s most fascinating and deeply curious creatures. The cuttlefish, otherwise known affectionally among divers in Japan as ‘kobushime’ (コブシメ).
This one above I photographed on my recent trip back to Okinawa in the famous Churaumi Aquarium in the north part of the island. Just a mere baby, but what wonderful colours and textures! These things were about the size of a tennis ball, all soft and squishy and hovering in the water by moving the delicate ‘skirt’ fins encircling their bodies. Quite naturally, everyone that walked past was overcome with happiness at seeing the little bundles of joy.
I wouldn’t have ever imagined it, but seeing them in the wild up close really made me a fan. They’ve joined my list of favourite creatures, including frogs, jellyfish and the porcupine puffer :D.
P.S. No bioluminescence in this little creature, but some beautiful iridescence! Cuttlefish use chromatophores to change colour quite easily, blending in with the background and signalling mates.