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.
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.
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
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.
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