The Glowing Firefly Squids of Toyama Bay
Firefly squid, or Watasenia Scintillans, usually about three inches long and covered with photophores. Large photophores are present around their eyes and the tips of their tentacles, while small photophores cover the whole body. The light-producing photophores contain chemicals that are responsible for the squid bioluminescence. Let's have similar photophores, so the squid is named after them.
The arrival of Firefly Squid creates a festive atmosphere along the coast - it's almost like an annual reunion of sorts. Thousands of squid can coordinate their deep blue lights flash simultaneously or alternate in endless patterns, creating a twinkling effect. Each pattern serves a different purpose. On-and-off flashes attract small fish, squid where pounce on their powerful tentacles. Counter-illumination allows the squid to blend in with light cascading from the top, protecting them from predators. The creatures mating season 'also coincides with this period; Millions of squid came over in the evening to fertilize and drop their eggs in Toyoma Bay. The season brings thousands of tourists in the region, who flock to the bay to admire the unique display of lights.
The Hotaru Bottom fishing port Museum Namerikawa, Toyama Prefecture, is the world's only museum dedicated to the firefly squid. The museum conducts sightseeing tours firefly squid every year between March and May. Sightseeing boat leaving the port shortly after 03:00, making a short trip to fixed nets located about 1 to 2 km offshore. As the fishermen haul in their nets, firefly squid light makes the surface of the sea to glow, making tourists gasp in delight.
The museum also has interactive exhibits and a research center to study the mating behavior squids' and sustainable fishing methods. There is a restaurant on the roof that provides a stunning view of Toyama bay, and serves delicacies such as firefly squid tempura. The gift shop squid in freeze-dried, powdered, canned and sweetened varieties.
Firefly squid is considered a delicacy in Japan, and there are many ways to eat them - raw, grilled, stewed or tempura. Travel reports the BBC prefer living in pop eyes off freshly caught raw squid and swallow them whole. There's also fresh squid sushi or sashimi to be paired with a couple of glasses of local welfare. Do not expect the dishes to glow in the plate, though!