The ocean hides some pretty un-freakin’-real stuff within its depths. Some of the stuff at the bottom of the ocean is better off left there (anglerfish, fangtooth fish, blobfish, goblin sharks, vampire squids… so many things that sound and look like stuff from my nightmares.) But, some of it can be pretty dang beautiful. Take, for example, jellyfish.
In most situations, you definitely don’t want to encounter a jellyfish… but they’re always the coolest things on display at any aquarium. The Kamo Aquarium in Tsuruoka, Japan knows this, and has amassed an enormous and utterly mesmerizing jellyfish display. In fact, the aquarium actually owes its existence to the jellyfish!
Kamo Aquarium was allegedly on the verge of closing when its owner decided to invest everything it had left on jellyfish. It worked, attracting more and more people, so much so that they were able to open a Jellyfish Dreams theater in 2014, with a 5-meter-wide tank and seating. It’s not hard to spend hours being entranced by the jellyfish as they swim and float along. The aquarium has around 40-ish species of jellyfish, the most in the world.
The Aquarium was also able to help two scientists win a Nobel Prize in chemistry. They were studying Green Fluorescent Protein, which causes a certain species of jellyfish to become bioluminescent, and Kamo was the only aquarium in Japan that was breeding that jellyfish at the time.
Kamo Aquarium is also a great place to go if you’re interested in eating jellyfish. I know, it’s weird to eat it after spending so much time appreciating it, but jellyfish is not exactly uncommon in many Asian cultures and cuisines. You can play it safe and sample it in ramen, or go nuts and get it in ice cream.