For over 25 years, this Japanese diver and the giant fish he raised to recuperate have shared the most amazing friendship!
It was the love for the sea that brought Hiroyuki Arakawa and Yoriko together many years ago. Arakawa, a 79-year-old diver, has been tasked with overseeing a ‘torii’ – a sacred Shinto shrine that belongs to the Shinto religion.
But this one has even greater importance as it is located beneath Tateyama Bay in Japan. A sacred place for the Japanese people, Arakawa was aware of the importance of his mission, so he must dive almost daily to check out the site.
But little did the diver know that he would meet a great friend down deep in the sea. One day, while diving, Arakawa spotted an Asian sheepshead struggling to swim.
The man immediately realized something was wrong with the giant fish, so he decided to help her, hoping she would recover. For nearly weeks, the kind diver brought crabs to the sick fish, which helped Yoriko – as he named her – make a full recovery.
The fish didn’t forget that Arakawa saved her life and rewarded him with the most incredible friendship a human and a sea creature could share. Now, more than 25 years after the two first met, they are still best friends.
“Maybe because there’s a sense of trust between us,” the diver explained. “I guess she knew that I saved her… I helped when she was badly in.ju.red. So for me to be able to do that, I’m proud. I have an incredible sense of accomplishment in my heart.
“I kissed her once, and I’m the only one she would allow to do that!”
Although Arakawa and Yoriko’s friendship sounds almost impossible, there could be an explanation for it. Apparently, the fish can actually recognize human faces.
Dr. Cait Newport from the University of Oxford explained: “The scientists showed the fish two images of a human face and trained them to choose one by spraying the picture with their jets.”
“The researchers decided to make things a little harder. They took the pictures and made them black and white and edited the head shapes. You might think that would throw the fish around. But no, even then they could still pick out familiar faces – and with greater accuracy: 86%! ”
More about this unique friendship in the video below!