This work of art on the sea floor is by a new species of pufferfish (Torquigener albomaculosus) found in Japan. They make intricate ‘crop circles’ with geometric designs about six feet (2 meters) in diameter, as their spawning nests. This one was on the seafloor off the coast of Amami-Ōshima Island. Photograph: ESF
Underwater Circles at The Botton of The Pacific Ocean diver Yoji Ookata stumbled upon rippling geometric sand patterns nearly six feet in diameter at almost 80 feet below sea level when he was diving in southern Japan. Dubbed the “The Mystery Circle” after a TV crew went down to take a look and make a documentary, many suggested the circular patterns were created by UFOs. It was later discovered that the intricate circle was actually the creation of a little fish, the Japanese puffer.
Tiny male Japanese pufferfish create grand sand sculpture on the featureless seabed by using his fins to dig furrows. He uses this to attract the attention of passing females. These "underwater crop circles" can be as large as 2 meters (7 feet) in diameter.
The Mystery of Underwater Crop Circles, Explained—seven-foot diameter patterned circles that were first spotted in 1995 off the coast of southern Japan. But their origin was an enigma, and local divers termed them “mystery circles.” The mystery persisted until 2011 when the culprit, a male pufferfish just five inches long, was finally caught in the act. And recently scientists studied the process of how the species creates these elaborate designs in order to woo females.
Close up of chalk. Why is it under critters? Chalk is actually composed of tiny white spheres that are the aggregation of the ancient skeletons of phytoplankton algae. Those skeletons are compacted together by water and time to create the substance we know from elementary school, but the spheres are clearly visible under a high-powered microscope.