Exploring the sea…at the dining table

Hi there Foldscopers,

Hello from Japan!

Manu asked me to explore planktons while I’m in Japan visiting family, and I even made my own plankton net a few weekends ago (more on this another day).

But I’m finding that the ocean is not as accessible as I had imagined. Why? It’s because the coastline is quite a bit industrialized where I currently am on the Kyushu island. I haven’t found any publicly open spaces where I feel safe enough to go (with my plankton net) and catch some planktons for Foldscope fun. I will keep looking…. If you happen to know any good place to get close to the ocean on Kyushu Island, please leave a comment below.

Luckily, my mom, as she often does, had a solution for me. “Come look in the kitchen.”

Japan, as many of you might know, is an island country, which means that seafood is a major part of Japanese cuisine. So our kitchen always has treasures from the sea in stock.

I will share my observations of “hanaebi 花エビ” which can directly be translated as “flower shrimp”. It’s commonly eaten seafood in Japan. You might see these in tempura (fried food), okonomiyaki (savory pancakes), or sprinkled on steamed rice. Yum!

But they are not shrimp, technically speaking. I’ll have to ask the Foldscope community to chime in as I’m not a crustacean expert, but my quick Internet search suggests that they are “mysids” which are shrimp-like marine crustaceans https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/

How I prepared the sample slide:

  1. Place one hanaebi on top of a blank glass slide
  2. Carefully place the PVC coverslip on top of hanaebi, and push the air out with fingers so that the coverslip sticks to the glass slide

Here are my observation videos:

(More videos coming – currently experimenting with different apps to seamlessly share videos from my phone)

Foldscoping after dinner has been quite fun ever since this connection between the ocean and our family dining table became so clear to me. And I am so grateful for all the nutrition I’m getting! I feel sure this will become a series of Microcosmos posts.

Happy holidays everyone!


One Comment Add yours

  1. laksiyer says:

    Dinner and a movie– Fantastic post Honomi.

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