Happy Halloween! Here are photos from recent trips I made showcasing some of the weird creature encounters in the past 2 years. A lot of these critters I actually encountered at depths no deeper than 20 feet. Such a thin like separates the norm from creepy.
The stone fish is the most venomous fish in the world. A single poke from its spines causes the venom to turn your skin black and within moments, death. Near death if you’re lucky. These things are so camouflaged that it took me a while to realize that this was indeed a fish and not a piece of debris.
This eerie scorpionfish was watching me whilst I was shooting a moray eel. One look to the left and there it was with its mouth open sitting on a rock looking at me in the face. Creepy.
The Rhinopias is an eerie yet profoundly beautiful creature that mimics a sea kelp of varying colors. This one was yellow. It is similar to the scorpionfish and frogfish with big vortex-feeding mouths and excellent camouflage.
Another side portrait of a scorpionfish with the evil red eye staring into oblivion. Scorpionfish, like lionfish are also poisonous.
The hairy frogfish is the ugly hell spawn combination of a shih tzu gone wrong. Underwater. Just look at it. So ugly!
Straight out of an alien movie, you can see the innards of this coral shrimp. These shrimp are really tiny and I can only appreciate the complexity and delicate nature of these critters when I come back and upload photos. Underwater, they look very unremarkable because they’re so tiny. This is one of the rewards of macro photography.
The dragonet (Dactylopus dactylopus) is an odd bottom dweller with bright orange lips and a sail-like dorsal fin that it can raise and lower making for a hypnotic sight. It is endowed with colorful patterns.