Lake Akan in Kushiro, Hokkaido is well known as a home of marimo, also known as a lake ball or moss ball. It is a species of green algae.
Because the marimo in Lake Akan is perfectly round and beautiful, it has been protected and defined as a natural treasure.
The reason why marimo forms like a ball while other algae don’t get round has not become clear yet.
But how marimo floats up and sinks in water by itself is made known. When sunlight hits marimo, it exudes enzymatic bubbles into the water inside of the ball, so that it gets lighter and floats up to the surface of water.
Around the lake and in Hokkaido, small artificial marimo balls in water are sold as souvenirs.
“Marimo in Tiny Bottles”
There are also marimo character goods sold in the area.
“Mari Mari Marimo”
“Hello Kitty in Marimo”
This is JAPAN Style!