NEAT! (Originally published 16-Sept 2015)
Remember, kids. Learn about nature so you can correct people who say this is some sort of “mutant monster” in your Facebook feed.
An enourmous sea monster was caught by baffled Japanese fishermen off the island of Hokkaido.
A ferocious looking fish with a gigantic head and sharp, protruding teeth has been found swimming in the waters of Pacific Ocean.
UPDATE (Sept 20, 2015): The fish has been identified as a Bering wolffish (Anarhichas orientalis), native to the area. Sadly, as I expected, the fish was called a “mutant” by media outlets who connected it to fallout radiation from Fukushima, a very unoriginal and WRONG suggestion. The person in the picture, Hiroshi Hirasaka, who has degrees in marine biology and ecological sciences, was very proud of his catch until people misinterpreted it in this way.
“That fish has been in [Hokkaido] for a long time, so it’s not feasible for it to be affected by radiation. It’s rude to the fish to say that, and it’s not cool to blame everything on radiation,” Hirasaka said. “Creatures only become big in the world of science fiction, and we’re not living in the world of Hulk or Godzilla.”
But, as we know all too well here, this ignorance of nature is rampant in the public. For media, it’s all about the hype and the clicks, at the expense of genuine knowledge.
The wolffish is a plentiful species, so it’s not rare, though this one is a whopper. While Japanese people are used to seeing this fish, obviously the rest of the world is not.