The Giant Japanese Salamander
It is rare to spot one in the wild these days, but if you are lucky, swimming in the calm freshwaters of deep inaka of Japan, you may spot an Ōsanshōuo. These huge salamanders are like living dinosaurs, and their rarity gives them an air of wise mythical dragons. I’ve only run across one once in the wild, and I’ve been told by locals that most go their whole lives without ever seeing one like this. I’ve also run across a few resting in tanks at museums.
The photo below is of one of these fellas relaxing in the lobby of a museum I visited. I told the lady at the front desk that I liked her salamander (nice pickup line, eh?), to which she replied “oh, that’s gojirra! He’s about 50 years old, and he’s probably got another 100 years left in him!”