© Brian Skerry/National Geographic
  • Three degrees of Japan's seas

    Hunting for morsels of plankton, a school of spadefish hovers near the ocean surface off Japan's subtropical Bonin Islands. The turquoise color is natural late in the afternoon, when the red rays of the setting sun spread out and grow weak. The waters off the coast of Japan vary from frigid to temperate to tropical. The marine life is uniformly extraordinary.
    © Brian Skerry/National Geographic
  • Three degrees of Japan's seas

    Seventy miles southwest of Tokyo, a moray eel slithers through the branches of a soft coral in the cool waters of Suruga Bay. Deep and narrow, the bay plummets more than 8,000 feet.
    © Brian Skerry/National Geographic
  • Three degrees of Japan's seas

    Near Japan's Shiretoko Peninsula, a diver hangs on to part of an ice canopy that can reach a thickness of 25 feet in winter. A decade ago these seas were icebound an average of 90 days a year. Today it is about 65 days.
    © Brian Skerry/National Geographic
  • Three degrees of Japan's seas

    Underneath the ice, spikes meet spikes as an Alaska king crab the size of a nickel crawls over a knobby sea star. After a dozen years, the crustacean will grow as large as a tractor tire.
    © Brian Skerry/National Geographic
  • Three degrees of Japan's seas

    In the shallow waters off Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, a barbed poacher crawls across glistening volcanic sand on spiny pectoral fins.
    © Brian Skerry/National Geographic
  • Three degrees of Japan's seas

    A volcanic beach off Toyama Bay glows electric blue at night. The light comes from female firefly squid, which spawn in spring, then die and wash ashore, their tentacles lit like millions of aquamarine LEDs.
    © Brian Skerry/National Geographic
  • Three degrees of Japan's seas

    Off the Izu Peninsula, a yellow goby peers through the window of its corroded soda-can home, evidence of the 127 million people just above the water's surface.
    © Brian Skerry/National Geographic
  • Three degrees of Japan's seas

    Purple tunicates filter the water for food. They have no scientific name and live behind a single rock in a cave off Chichi-shima island.
    © Brian Skerry/National Geographic
  • Three degrees of Japan's seas

    A wrasse cleans the skin of a wrought iron butterflyfish.
    © Brian Skerry/National Geographic
  • Three degrees of Japan's seas

    A sand tiger shark off the Bonin Islands will soon give birth. During the nine-month pregnancy, the largest two pups will eat their siblings for sustenance, a kind of cannibalism unique to this species.
    © Brian Skerry/National Geographic
  • Three degrees of Japan's seas

    See more in the November 2010 issue of National Geographic.
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
See It, Share It
PHOTO: A home damaged by a landslide Friday, April 18, 2014 in Jackson, Wyo. is shown in this aerial image provided by Tributary Environmental.
Tributary Environmental/AP Photo
null
Danny Martindale/Getty Images
PHOTO: Woman who received lab-grown vagina says she now has normal life.
Metropolitan Autonomous University and Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
PHOTO: In this stock image, a woman with a hangover is pictured.
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images