Earlier this year deep sea photographer, Yoji Ookata discovered a stunning 6 foot in diameter, circular pattern of rippled sand on the ocean floor, some 80 feet below sea level.
Ootaka was diving in the region of Amami Oshima. For Ookata who is a resident deep sea diver that has documented the ocean for 50 years, this was something he had never seen before. He returned to the same spot with a TV camera crew to capture the mysterious underwater "crop circle" to figure out who or what created the beautiful design.
Because of its resemblance to crop circles, Oataka dubbed it a "mystery circle."
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration more than 70 percent of the earth is water covered and much of the ocean has remained unknown and undiscovered with 95 percent of what is underwater having never been seen by humans.
After viewing with an underwater camera, Ookata and his crew discovered something amazing. A single puffer fish had created the circles using one fin. The fish even took small shells, cracked them and lined the inner grooves of the sand circle.
The fish worked day and night to complete the intricately designed circle. The fish created the circle in order to attract female fish who are enticed by the ridges in the sand. The female fish drop off their eggs in the center and the eggs are then sheileded from the current because of the higher points of the sand sculpture that aids as a barrier. The more ridges the more likely it will attract a female puffer fish. They also believe the delicate shells the puffer placed were to serve as nutrients to the eggs as the hatch and become newborn fish.
See photos here.
And in the video below: