Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Firefly Squids set to attract Thousands of Tourists to Toyama Bay

Each year from March to June, thousands of tourists are attracted to the shores of Toyama Bay to witness the light show of the Firefly Squids. This period is the spawning season of the squid, when millions of squid come together to fertilize and drop their eggs in the bay, located in the central Japan Sea. Normally they live at 1200 feet underwater, but around this time of year waves in the Toyama bay pushes the squid to the surface in massive numbers. In Japan they are considered a delicacy, fished by tons during the spring and summer season, but many prefer to simply admire their beauty. 

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The Firefly Squid is a bioluminescent squid that grows to a length of only three inches. The gathering of the squids at the bay is so special and beautiful due to a unique characteristic possessed by the firefly squid, the light-producing organs called photophores, which emit a deep blue light. Tiny photophores can be found throughout the body of the squid, giving it the ability to emit light along its whole body. The flashing lights of millions of Firefly squids create a brilliant show with endless numbers of animated patterns. Firefly squids use these lights for several reasons. They can be used to communicate with rivals, attract potential mates, or to attract prey. Their lights are also thought to be used as a method of protection, confusing predators enough to allow the squid to escape. 

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Setting the uses of the lights aside, they create a breath-taking view for tourists and the people of Japan alike. 

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