Thursday, May 27, 2010
Hokkaido sea angel - Clione
Spotted in the murky depths of Tokyo's Asakusa district: a life-support system for clione
What's a clione? they're "gelatinous, mostly transparent pteropods." Hungry yet? In layman's terms, they're a tiny, obscure species of cold-water marine invertebrate. They also happen to be the subject of a national obsession in Japan, where they've been elevated to the status of "angels of the sea." These specimens were on display at a shop specializing in Hokkaido foods and other northern souvenirs.
Clione are a staple of Japanese nature documentaries and trivia shows. Which would be intriguing enough, given the unassuming nature of the little beasts, but there's actually a surprisingly robust market for clione-related merchanidse here as well.
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