Shizuoka: Tiny octopus charms visitors

Courtesy of Izu Mito Sea Paradise
A baby mendako octopus

NUMAZU, Shizuoka — An attraction featuring a baby mendako octopus is now open to the public at Izu Mito Sea Paradise, an aquarium in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, drawing in not only deep-sea fish fans but also those interested in the creature’s creepy-yet-cute appearance.

In February, the aquarium collected four eggs and placed them in observation tanks that replicate deep-sea conditions.

A baby hatched from one of the eggs on Sept. 27, making Izu Mito the third aquarium in the nation to hatch a mendako.

The baby is just 1 centimeter in length and, much like an adult octopus, has ear-like fins on the side of its head and small eyes, giving it an adorable appearance.

Because the tank is situated in a dark area, the aquarium broadcasts video of the baby taken with a high-sensitivity camera.

“We look forward to the rest of the eggs hatching, so we hope many visitors will come to see them,” said Tamotsu Kasuga, an aquarium employee.