For over 25 years this Japanese diver and the giant fish he nursed back to health share the unlikeliest 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 entrusted to supervise a ‘torii’ – a sacred shrine that belong to the Shinto religion. But this one has an even higher importance since 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 had to dive almost daily in order to check the site.
But little did the diver know that he will meet a great friend down deep in the sea. One day he was diving, Arakawa spotted an Asian sheepshead wrasse struggling to swim. The man immediately realized something might be wrong with the giant fish, so he decided to help her out, hoping she’ll recover. For nearly to weeks, the kindhearted diver brought crabs to the sick fish and that help Yoriko – how he named her – to fully recover.
The fish haven’t forget that Arakawa saved her life, and rewarded him with the most incredible friendship a human being and a marine creature could ever share. Now, over 25 years after they two initially met, they are still best buddies.
“It’s probably because there is a sense of trust between us,” the diver explained. “I guess she knows that I saved her… that I helped when she was badly injured. So for me to be able to do that, I am proud. I have an amazing sense of accomplishment in my heart.
“I kissed her once and I’m the only person she’ll let do it!”
Though the friendship between Arakawa and Yoriko sounds nearly impossible, there might be an explanation for it as it turns out. Apparently, the fish can actually recognize human faces.
“Scientists presented the fish with two images of human faces and trained them to choose one by spitting their jets at that picture,” Dr. Cait Newport from Oxford University explained for CNN. “The researchers decided to make things a little harder. They took the pictures and made them black and white and evened out the head shapes. You’d think that would throw the fish for a loop. But no, they were able to pick the familiar face even then – and with more accuracy: 86%!”
More about this unique friendship, in the video below!