Certain animals just seem to have really great PR teams hyping up their reputations. Elephants? Supposedly have steel-trap memory banks. Dogs? Well, we all know dogs are just perfect. But koi fish? No one ever really raves about koi fish.
And yet, the colorful swimmers are definitely deserving of admiration — while they may not be A-list celebrities like some other species, they've got a lot going for them. "[They are] not only a pet, but also art," says Taro Kodama, president of Kodama Koi Farm. "They are called living jewels — beautiful as one koi, even more beautiful as a group."
"They are beautiful, gentle, docile fish that are relatively easy to maintain with the proper space, water filtration and food," says Laura Hilstrom, Aquatics Lead in the Department of Herpetology & Ichthyology at the San Diego Zoo. "Koi can be easily trained to eat right out of your hand. Watching koi swim can be both a mesmerizing and calming experience and koi keepers are known for taking great pride in the care of their aquatic pets."
Here are just a few fun facts about these beautiful, resilient, aquatic superstars.