Culture · Culture Shock · Japanese Pop Culture · Living in Japan · Pictures

Angry Sea Pony

sea pony!

OK, so I have a confession. This blog post has nothing to do with My Little Pony or the Sea Ponies, but it does have to do with a sea angel.

small swimming sea slug!

The clione, a.k.a. sea angel, is a cute, translucent swimming sea slug that glides gracefully through icy ocean waters by flapping a pair of appendages that resemble tiny angel wings. Due to its cute appearance, naturally, Japan is obsessed with it. Don’t let the innocent, angelic look fool you, though — the clione is a vicious demon come feeding time. The Clione limacina species preys on its shelled cousin, the sea butterfly (Limacina helicina). When the hungry sea angel spots a suitable target, it lunges forward and rapidly unfurls a halo of six hooked tentacles from its head, locking its prey in a death grip. Slowly, the clione sucks the victim’s body out of its shell, swallowing it whole. Like this:

You are all probably wondering what this has to do with anything but, trust me, Japan has managed to use this creature for something totally unrelated: the weather forecast.

Yep, there is a animated music video of the sea angel playing in the background while you wait for your prefecture’s weather to show up. Japan, how you amuse me.

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