CoSquid-19: Japanese city spends pandemic aid money in the weirdest way possible

Noto, Japan - Governments around the world are considering how to revive the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In the Japanese coastal town of Noto, officials had a strange idea and settled on using aid money for an absolutely giant squid sculpture.

This octopus sculpture in Noto was purchased with Corona aid money.
This octopus sculpture in Noto was purchased with Corona aid money.  © Screenshot/YouTube/TheTonarinopoti

Right in front of a souvenir shop on the shore of the port city of Noto, Japan lies a giant pink squid. Its huge eyes seem to follow people around, and its eight arms and two tentacles look ready to grab a tasty tourist. Good thing it's only a sculpture!

At over 13 feet tall and nearly 30 feet long, the rose colored cephalopod is said to have cost about $274,000, according to NBC News.

Videos posted by a Japanese YouTube user show that the sculpture's mouth is open, and there is another hole in the underside of the head, so you can pose for a selfie in the sea monster's maw.

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Overnight the city has become the target of international ridicule for spending so much coronavirus relief money on a seemingly frivolous purchase.

However, the squid is intended to be a big boost to the local economy.

Video shows the walk-in octopus of Noto

The squid has a purpose

The octopus is walkable and invites you to take a selfie.
The octopus is walkable and invites you to take a selfie.  © Screenshot/YouTube/TheTonarinopoti

In Noto, the sea dweller is a major part of industry with squid a local delicacy.

The sculpture is part of a long-term tourism campaign, as the travel industry within Japan has dried up due to Covid-19. In addition, the government's aid money was not earmarked for any specific purpose.

Japan made it through the pandemic relatively unscathed for a long time, but the island nation is currently in the middle of a fourth wave, with an average of more than 5,000 new infections every day. So far, more than 10,400 people have died from Covid-related illnesses.

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The government plans to spend over $700 billion to combat the effects of the pandemic, which makes the speedy squid seem strange and possibly pointless, but bearable.

Cover photo: Screenshot/YouTube/TheTonarinopoti

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