I Belong in the Sky, Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, Florida, United States

Photograph by Nick Zantop

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A koi leaps from its watery, lake-bound world into the sky, competing with a swirling mass of other fish for food. 

Koi are ornamental varieties of domesticated common carp, known for their often wildly vibrant coloration. In Japan during the 1820s, common carp were first bred for color, originally on the northeastern coast of Honshu island in the Niigata prefecture town of Ojiya. In 1914, the outside world got their first glimpse of the fascinating color variations of koi when they were exhibited at the annual exposition in Tokyo. Following the exhibition, raising and displaying these colorful, ornamental fish became hugely popular, with the hobby eventually spreading across the globe. 


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