This Mischievously Nosy Fish With a Huge Forehead Has the Internet Captivated
Trying to get even the smallest, most mundane task done without your little ones interfering is a scenario most parents (and pet owners) can relate to. Perhaps this is why a viral video featuring an Asian sheepshead wrasse, also known as kobudai, has resonated with so many people.
"This fish is cracking me up," wrote Twitter user @AKBrews, along with a 20-second video of a diver hammering away at a barnacle on a slab of concrete—all the while, the large fish kept poking its head in. Once the piece was broken off and cracked open, he tossed it to the awaiting creature, who snapped it up greedily.
This fish is cracking me up pic.twitter.com/TNVpSMcdXe
— QENNY Electric 💡 (@AKBrews) May 25, 2023
In less than a day, the video has already been viewed over six million times.
"My cat when I’m on a zoom call," tweeted one user in response, while another quipped: "'Do you have games on your phone?' vibes." "My dogs are the same way," admitted yet another user.
But what most people don't realize is that the kobudai is already a celebrity in its own right. Back in 2017, the story of the fish, whose name is Yoriko, made headlines over her 25-plus years of friendship with the diver in the video.
Hiroyuki Arakawa serves as a caretaker of a Shinto shrine at Hasama Underwater Park in Tateyama, Japan, where Yoriko lives. He first encountered the fish decades ago by the gate of the shrine, appearing sick and exhausted. So, Arakawa did what any good caretaker would do—nursed her back to health by feeding her crabs.
Ten days later, Yoriko was feeling better, but by that point, the pair were inseparable. Their bond has only grown over the years, and Arakawa remains the kobudai's closest companion, not to mention, the only human she allows to give her kisses.
Interestingly enough, around the same time their story went viral, a study published by scientists at University of Oxford in the U.K. and the University of Queensland in Australia found that fish do indeed recognize human faces.
The study was conducted with archerfish, a species of tropical fish that spits jets of water from its mouth to knock insects down from branches.
"Scientists presented the fish with two images of human faces and trained them to choose one by spitting their jets at that picture," Dr. Cait Newport, a research fellow in Oxford University’s zoology department and co-author of the study, told CNN. "They presented the fish with the picture of the face they wanted the fish to learn and a bunch of new faces. Up to 44 new ones. The fish were able to pick the familiar face correctly 81 percent of the time."
Admittedly, it's probably not what you want to think about the next time you're eating sushi, but fascinating nonetheless.
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