From the nation that brought us the Tamagocchi virtual pets comes the latest in craze in real life animal companions.
People in the frantic commercial city Tokyo are buying jellyfish as pets.
They say the sea creatures soothing movements help them relax after a busy day.
It's become such a fad more than three thousand jellyfish have been sold to proud owners in the last year.
After a long stressful day, what better way to unwind than with your adoring pet - a jellyfish.
People in the hectic heart of Tokyo claim the sea creatures soothing movements help them relax.
50 to 60 pet shops in the Tokyo area now sell the sea creatures with them replacing the virtual Tamagocchi pets as the latest craze.
They range in price from about from about 14 to 18 U-S dollars and in just one year three thousand were purchased as pets.
"Our intention, when we first decided to sell jellyfish, was simply to show customers that we have some thing rather unique to sell them. To our surprise, our customer showed great interest in jellyfish. They are struck to see jellyfish in a fish tank and realise they can domesticate them. We now think this could become a fad."
SUPER CAPTION: Tetsuya Manabe, Tokyo Hands Department
Jellyfish never disturb you and you can even leave the house for a week- it doesn't matter to them.
These attributes conveniently accommodate the hectic Tokyo lifestyle.
"When I first saw jellyfish at a pet shop, I thought they were cute. You know, there are so many kinds of jellyfish at the shop. There are cute little ones as well. Their movements are interesting and they are so sweet."
SUPER CAPTION: Masako Masuda, Jellyfish owner
Moon jellyfish, the most popular kind, were initially placed on sale one year ago.
Since then the creatures' slow, soothing movement have attracted the attention of Japanese shoppers.
Although they are not a lot of trouble to take care of they do need special tanks for their well being.
If bubbles penetrate jellyfish membranes it could be fatal.
And because jellyfish float, care must be taken to keep them from sinking or getting sucked into the tanks purification pump - so the Japanese invented a new airpump system for their new favourite pet.
And as the price of this special equipment is starts to fall, Japan may find itself in the grip of a new pet craze.
You can license this story through AP Archive:
Find out more about AP Archive:
Large Moon Jellyfish - Jellyfish Art
Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) are translucent to the eye and are commonly recognized by their 4 horseshoe shaped gonads (stomach) in the center of their moon shaped body. Being transparent makes these jellyfish the perfect pet for desktop aquariums and jellyfish tanks as they glow like the moon when a colored LED light is shined on them. They have very short tentacles compared to other jellies and are non stinging. Moon Jellyfish are found in every ocean and in a wide range of temperatures, it just so happens that our small moon jellyfish for sale here are ready for room temperature settings although they need to be acclimated.
If you order a jellyfish tank kit, you will receive the tank first
According to Alex, over the last year, sales have been strong but flat. Anyone in the world willing to pay $500 for jellyfish buys the product from Jellyfish Art. The first reason that sales are flat is because they have almost 100% market share. It’s hard to improve on that. No competitors have emerged and if you Google anything jellyfish related, you inevitably end up at the Jellyfish Art website or read an article about the company. Even uses images of their products in its entries. When asked if he was worried about competition, Alex demurred. The Jellyfish Art marketing machine would be hard to unseat.
Hong Kong based jellyfish sale company