Hawaiian freediver and marine life photographer Yuki Nakano has been lauded for his work for years. She often swims with many different types of aquatic life, but after meeting a sea urchin fish and being blown away by his beautiful grin, she began paying him regular visits.
Although Yuki prefers to maintain a respectful distance from the wildlife she sees, this porcupine fish clearly likes getting up and personal.
In February, Yuki was snorkeling at a popular spot on Oahu when she saw the friendly fish for the first time. The magnificent marine creature had fresh damage to his right eye, which he found at that moment. He, too, had trouble swimming in a straight line, but he didn’t seem to mind that his new friend was right next to him.
An upbeat fish greets the diver face to face.
The claims of Yuki, who was interviewed by The Dodo,
“When I first saw him, I was confused as to why he was remaining in the same place, given that he normally runs away.”
The diver began paying daily visits to the damaged fish after seeing that he constantly returned to the same location.
Everything suggested that the fish recognized Yuki and grinned at her, even if his vision was impaired.
Every day in March, Yuki showed up at the same spot to meet with the fish, but they never showed up for him. The woman worried that something had happened to the fish, but she still hoped to see it again.
Yuki went on to say
I’d only known him for a few days before he disappeared. I was optimistic and believed we would reconnect.
Yuki was greeted by the friendly porcupine fish again three months after he mysteriously disappeared.
Yuki recalls a pivotal occasion when the fish smiled at him after he showed signs of improvement from his wounds.
As Yuki put it:
Inwardly, I sighed a resounding “Welcome back!” upon his return. “I’ve been waiting for you.”
Yuki’s smiling fish has gone viral thanks to a series of images and videos he posted on his social media.
An amazing friendship that proves there will always be room for people from different species to bond.