Are you a diver ? I get this question many times a day . I din`t knew that there is some specific diver kind of appearance , but apparently i have it , maybe its the dive watch or short hair .. Or maybe its the tan lines around arms and neck from wetsuit .. So many signs giving it away ..
I always meet many other diver and one thing i have noticed is that only few of us are really good of recognising marine animals . Those creatures that live in the sea ..
Im one of those divers . Recently a friend showed me this amazing photo .. It was a great shot - i straight said - " What an amazing shot of decorator crab ... "
He corrected me .. " Its a spider crab ... "
I was surprised , It looked almost the same as decorator crab ..
So this lack of knowledge inspired my next post .. I got about 40 pictures of strange creatures from Wilson (underwater photographer ) and did little research on them to find out what are they .. And some strange facts ...
Turtle : Turtles are already strange even without knowing anything more about them . They look like they swim slow , but when you try to catch up with them underwater - you feel like you are running a marathon .. Then look like they don`t care about anything and they blend in with corals so well that i even swim pass it like 3 times already . Did you knew that turtles don`t have ears , they have favourite colours and they sleep underwater ,but keep in mind that they breath air . They can stay underwater up to 5 hours .I wish i could do that !
Scorpion fish: Many new divers don`t even know that this creature exist . When you dive you don`t normally see it and if no one tells you you don`t find out until someone points it out in some random dive . Since then you will always check the ground and stones before ever touching it again . This fish is a master of hiding . Sometimes you spot it , turn away to show it to someone , try to spot it again and NADA . Don`t see it any more .And this fish is very patient : It can sit and wait for hours for its prey , then prey comes and within seconds he swallows it all at once and waits again .. Wonder if he ever gets depressed .Did you know that this fish is poisonous .
Mantis shrimps : AAh this little guys is always a treat to see , looks like he is getting home after heavy party. Eyes all crazy and he is walking all directions at once . Hilarious .This shrimp is very fast , so to get a good foto (like the one Wilson took ) is damn difficult . Applause for him .Did you knew that eyes contains millions of light sensitive cells called rods and cones ,Human eye have 6 different cones , but mantis have 16 cones . Its like having rainbow of 16 colours ..
This blog explains everything about mantis shrimp in like animations and drawings . Really interesting . http://theoatmeal.com/comics/mantis_shrimp
Trigger fish : Im sure everyone have seen at least one of them .There are about 40 different species of Trigger fish . And many of them are tiny and sometimes goes unnoticed . Some are bigger like Titan Trigger fish (Often seen in Boracay ) And clown Trigger fish (that`s seen in Boracay only in Balinghai dive spot . ) This fish can be aggressive , but i haven`t had any problems with it . When they are angry - their dorsal fin goes up like a trigger . In some places like Thailand , Malaysia they have attacked , but i have never heard of one attacking in Boracay .
Puffer fish : This fish is really what its name says . Its goes - PUff ... Expands when its in danger . There are many different sizes and types .I have never seen one expanding - becoming a ball . This fish is also called balloon fish .Puffer fish in one of the most poisonous fish in the world . In Japan they cook Puffer fish - Its also called a " Fugu " . To cook this fish chef need a special license - "Fugu Chef " license .Puffer fish lifespan is around 10 years .
Angel fish : Lovely colourful angelfish . Blue and yellow stripes are very visible and easy to recognize .But there many different types of Angel fish and with that many different colours ! This fish is not dangerous and normally just swims around and looks pretty . Divers can get great photos and see them very near .Life span can be around 15 years , the longest !
Tube Anemone: This little strange looking life form is always getting everyone confused . Its based in the same place , but its not a coral . Its an animal . It have long tentacles that extends and tries to catch planktonic food . When disturbed this animal quickly win-draws in to the sand and looks like it disappeared . Strange looking but beautiful ..
Cleaner shrimp : Wonder what is this .. Yap name gives it away , its a shrimp that cleans other animals , like Moray eels . You when you haven`t had shower for long time .. Its easy you can go and take a shower , but what if you are already surrounded by water .. Get cleaner shrimp to clean you .. Its a delicacy for them ! " Customers " Can be often seen queuing for the service, while waiting for their turn .And .. If you feel like trying something new .. This shrimp will be happy to try to clean even a divers mouth . I haven`t tried it yet ..
Ribbon Eel : Juveniles and small adults are mainly black with yellow dorsal fin. Males become blue on the body and have a characteristic yellow snout . Adult females are entirely yellow except for white fin margins and black anal fin.Sometimes when a diver is patient - it can see eel coming out of the cave almost fully (when hunting )
Catfish The aggregation takes on the appearance of much larger creatures or even inanimate objects , reducing the chances of predation. Normally you see lots of catfish at the same time and they all move the same direction , its like they have pre-agreed on directions !
Uses suction to catch and hold his pray. Like a big vacoom cleaner . They blend in well with large variety of colours seen on corals . Normally appears only for short time .
Nemo Worlds most popular marine aquarium fish .Nemos live in Anemone that have microscopic stinging cells in tentacles , but nemos are covered with mucus that protects them from these cells . So its a perfect match . Nemos home works like a protector against intruders .Nemos are never found without their home - ANemone .
Nemos egs hatch in 6-7 days and then "children - LArvae " are swimming free for 1-2 weeks and find new anemone to live in . Time to watch again - Finding Nemo !!
Sea snakes : Yap they exist . I have never seen one in medeterian sea . But in waters surrounding Boracay and Philippines thee are many . Usually you see it swimming along the botton and from time to time ascending for air . I have seen many of them , on time it was only like 3 m away .. Close . This snake is poisonous . And look at the photo .. In photo that Wilson took - This sea snake is sleeping . He put camera super close to it and no emotion . It never moved . First time i hear that sea snake was sleeping .., And its not just a story - Photo is a proof !!!
Crabs : There are so many of them , You can see them in sand , on corals in anemone .. Lots of different styles and sized . Some huge and fat, some skinny and tiny . And i love this photo . This is one fat and angry looking crab ...
What and incredible sea life ... ANd this is just a tiny bit of what`s out there . So if you are a diver .. Keep diving , but if you have never tried it .. Its time to start .. Sooner is better !!
And if you know some incredible facts about marine life that need to be hear : Post it don`t in comments !! Sharing is caring ! Happy bubbles ...
Papau New Guinea