For Over 25 Years, a Japanese Diver Has Been Visiting His Best Friend Fish

While we’re used to seeing humans interacting with puppies, kittens, or farm animals, this highly unusual connection between a diver and a fish has everyone perplexed. And, as if that wasn’t strange enough, these two out-of-the-ordinary pals have shared this extraordinary bond for nearly 25 years.

It all began many years ago, when the Japanese diver Hiroyuki Arakawa was sent to supervise the construction of a ‘torii’ — a Shinto religious shrine. But this torii, which rests beneath the surface of Tateyama Bay in Japan, was not like any other. Hiroyuki had to dive often to check on the site’s condition because of its spiritual significance. And since he did this for so long, the guy got to know the aquatic species that used to reside there. Specifically, a wrasse fish named Yoriko, with whom he has a wonderful friendship.

Even if it sounds strange, Hiroyuki and Yoriko get along fantastically well and can’t wait to see each other again. And, as strange as a relationship between a person and a fish may sound, science appears to have an answer for it. It has been discovered that fish can recognize human faces.

“Scientists showed the fish two photographs of human faces and trained them to pick one by spitting their jets towards that picture,” said Dr. Cait Newport of Oxford University to CNN. “The researchers chose to make things more difficult. They took the photos, converted them to black and white, and evened out the head forms. That would seem to throw the fish for a loop. But, despite this, they were able to identify the familiar face with 86 percent accuracy.”