Japanese kids get all the best toys! Apparently, Japan has developed a cultural fascination with the giant isopod (Bathynomus giganteus).
B. giganteus inhabits depths in excess of 170 meters where it is believed to be a scavenger and facultative (“part-time”) carnivore.
Given that inhabiting the abyssal regions means potentially going without a meal for extended periods, B. giganteus is apparently able to survive for a long, long time without food.
In fact the Toba Aquarium in Japan kept a live B. giganteus (“Giant Isopod No. 1”) that wasn’t observed to eat a meal for the 5 years preceding it’s death in February 2014 and appears to have caused a bit of a national sensation.
In any event, this fondness for “Giant Isopod No. 1” seems to have spawned a whole set of cute and cuddly giant isopod toys! Plush not your thing? How about a giant isopod iPhone case?
Clearly these products are doing well, because according to the company that ships these items from Japan, they are sold out until early March. But don’t worry, it looks like Amazon.com has come to rescue and is offering the XL Size plush toys here at $125/plush.
- The Long Beach Aquarium in California, USA has a thorough write-up on giant isopods here