Look, sea slugs (who I assume all have Internet connections and are avid RocketNews24 readers), we need a new name for you. Yeah, yeah, I know you’re tube-shaped invertebrates that live in the ocean, but seriously, the whole “slug” thing is giving everyone the wrong impression.
When we humans hear “slug,” we tend to think of disgusting homeless snails, but it turns out that a lot of your marine versions are downright adorable, like the ones that look like surprised sheep , fluffy bunnies , or Pikachu . And if all that wasn’t enough to call for a major rebranding, now we’ve found out there’s a sea slug that looks like delicious strawberry jam.
The ocean is filled with tasty treats, something you may find yourself developing an even greater appreciation for if you spend much time in Japan, sampling the country’s quality seafood. But should you find yourself scuba diving in the waters off Okinawa, bear in mind that Japanese hospitality, impressive as it is, does not extend to its marine life setting out samples of fruit preserves for visitors.
That may look like a dollop of strawberry jam (or maybe a scoop of spicy mentaiko cod roe, if you prefer fiery foods to sweet ones), but it’s actually a sea slug. Don’t feel bad if it fooled you at first glance, because this member of the Aldisa genus looks so much life the foodstuff that its name in Japanese, ichigo jamu umiushi, actually means “strawberry jam sea slug.”
The animals can be observed in enclosed bays in Okinawa during winter and spring. You might assume their natural habitat is atop pieces of toast that strangely cover the ocean floor, but in actuality the creatures like to hang out on cockscomb oysters, where they csn blend in with the crimson sponges that also attach themselves to the shell.
Still, if you can manage to find one, it’ll encaptivate you with its unique brand of surreal cuteness, as shown in this video by YouTube user and diver Sugomori Yoshimitsu .
Just remember to resist the urge to taste it.
Source: Okinawa Zukan via Karapaia
Images: Okinawa Zukan/Motojima Higashikaigan