The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan is a world class public aquarium which features some amazing exhibits. In addition to having whale sharks and manta rays on exhibit in the Kuroshio Sea Exhibit, the Okinawa Aquarium also features some extremely rare deepwater basslet species in their Small Marine Life in the Deep Sea exhibit.
As the name implies, many of the aquariums in this exhibit feature aquarium sized species of reeflife that you would not normally see like rare basslets and the deepwater coral Flabellum distinctum. The basslets Liopropoma aragai and L. japonicum are only known to occur from the sea of Japan but they occur at such great depths that recreational divers cannot encounter them. L. aragai occurs at depths from 300 to 650 feet down (100-200m) and L. japonicum is found at a depth from 650 to a staggering 1300 feet! It’s no wonder then that we haven’t seen these pop up in the Diver’s Den.