Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dominica Expedition: Ocean through different eyes

I last blogged about how I was reminded that the ocean here is the same body of water that touches the coastline of where I'm from. But--at night--the ocean becomes a different place. At night, parrotfish build mucus cocoons around themselves to sleep, wrasses bed down under the sand and eels snake their way out of their burrows in search of a meal. It's my favorite time to dive! Thanks to some excellent photos by Jake Levenson, I am able to show you some creatures that I spotted:

Arrow crabs - usually I only find one (I wonder what these two were doing...)
(Photo: Jake Levenson)

Lesser electric ray - as the name implies you should make sure not to touch this fish! (Photo: Jake Levenson)

During in the dive we put on special glasses and used a special light to view the animals in the ocean that fluoresce! And again we found another world. Some animals naturally see the world this way. For an hour I was able to pretend I was one of those animals. At first everything was dark. I couldn't see anything with the special glasses on. But when my light hit an animal that contained fluorescent protein--the animal glowed bright neon colors. I'm having trouble explaining how impressive this was--hopefully a few pictures will help.

Look for the red fluorescence in this photo (Photo: Jake Levenson)

And out of the darkness comes green fluorescence! (Photo: Jake Levenson)

Brain coral appearing like ghosts (Photo: Jake Levenson)

It's an incredible world(s).


[Check out more fluorescence photos in this post.]

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