Considering water covers more than two-thirds of our planet’s surface, it’s perhaps unsurprising that so much of the ocean is still unknown to us. That’s one reason the sea is endlessly fascinating; there’s so much more out there waiting to be discovered. “People have this passionate enthusiasm for outer space, which is totally understandable, but the ocean is equally if not more exciting to me because it’s here,” research scientist Vicki Ferrini told Vox. “It’s the same planet that we’re on!” Let’s dive into the wonders of the sea with some incredible photos that shed some light on the mysteries of the deep.
Dodge the shark
This gorgeous photo was taken in the Maldives and it shows a baby black-tipped reef shark swimming through a veritable buffet of fish. The composition of the pic is mesmerizing: the way the fish have parted makes it look almost like a painting. In truth, the little fishies have the right idea to make way for the shark, as they are undoubtedly on the menu! Interestingly, black-tipped reef sharks are predators to small fish, but harmless when it comes to humans. In fact, they’re so shy they tend to avoid divers at all costs.
This little guy is a clownfish: the very species that was the star of Pixar’s beloved animated classic Finding Nemo! In the film, Nemo’s mom dies and then his dad has to go on a perilous journey to find him when he gets lost. If the filmmakers had stayed scientifically accurate, though, the plot would’ve been very different, as clownfish actually have the ability to change genders. If a mother clownfish dies, the father would simply become female and mate with the nearest male. That’s a very different movie!
Parting the fish sea
Snorkelers regularly see incredible things when they’re beneath the waves; one example is this lucky diver swimming in an underwater cave with a school of silverside fish. EcoTreasures founder Damien McClellan told British newspaper The Guardian, “With snorkeling, you never know what you’re going to see. And part of it is relaxing.” To get the best outcome on a dive, his advice is to control your breathing, stay calm, and focus on actually taking in your surroundings. He promised, “When you do that, you see the most amazing stuff.”
The star of this breathtaking image is the Cinetorhynchus reticulatus, also known as the dancing shrimp! This dude is living his best life on soft coral in Egypt’s Red Sea. Incredibly, there are more than 2,000 species of shrimp swimming around in the world’s oceans: for comparison’s sake, we know of only 340 breeds of dog. Heck, the real number of shrimp might even be bigger than that, as it’s estimated that an insane 91 percent of ocean-dwelling species haven’t been officially classified yet!