Over 110,000 albatross chicks and 2,000 adults were killed from the tsunami.
Federal Fish and Wildlife Service officials report that Wisdom, a Laysan albatross first tagged during the 1950’s and estimated to be 60+ years old has survived the tsunami, however.
Source: USA Today Science
Andrew Revkin of Dot Earth on what earthquake-prone countries can learn from Japan’s resilience, motivation and planning. Here.
My latest piece for ADRhub questions Japanese suicide culture and the possible complicity of western media.
** UPDATE: I fixed the link above.
Meet Namazu, the Earthshaker. He’s a giant catfish that lives under Japan. When he’s feeling antagonistic, he flips his tail to shake the earth, intentionally reeking havoc on those above.
Above, a Japanese wood-block print showing a giant mythic catfish that causes earthquakes. The horizontally outstretched catfish divides the picture in two parts, in the upper part there are rich merchants, in the lower part mourning people who have lost everything by the earthquake. The aftermath of the earthquake is depicted as possibility to redistribute the wealth; rich people have to divide their wealth with the poor to restore the general “cosmic” balance. Source: History of Geology blog
Namazu is one of many mythological creatures who lives in between worlds with fellow monsters and gods. One such god, Kashima, exclusively has the power to hold down the powerful fish. Kashima does this by positioning a sword or a large stone on top of Namazu’s head. Kashima pushes down on the weapon, keeping the fish in steady control. Sometimes, though, Kashima gets tired and loosens his grip - and that’s when the great catfish Namazu flops around causing earthquakes.
Above, the god Kashima immobilizes a guilty Namazu with help of a capstone. Kashima demonstrates his superior power to a several obedient, smaller catfishes who represent earthquakes of the past. His actions show the severe punishment for their ill behavior (click here to read more on Kashima’s great punishments).
During the 18th century, the Namazu replaced the mythological dragons of early Japanese folklore, which previously were to blame for earthquakes. Gradually, Namazu became associated with retributive disasters as a method to punish human greed. Earthquakes, therefore, served as a sort of balancing event, where harmony amongst people was restored by a re-distribution of wealth from the greedy rich (unaffected by disaster) to the impoverished poor who suffered most.
Source: History of Geology blog