Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q IS FOR QUEER UNDERWATER CREATURES : A-Z Challenge

Welcome to Day 17 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is:


'Wildlife Encounters'

One of the prime areas to find seriously queer or weird creatures is the Lembeh Strait in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. I have had articles published about this location in Australia’s Sport Diving Magazine and in a newspaper in Spain. Here are a few random extracts from these publications in no particular order:

I was finning slow and low over the black sand.

A flash of electric blue caught my attention. I had been about to swim directly over a blue ring octopus. 

I was far too excited by the sighting to consider the implications of my near collision with one of the most dangerous animals in our oceans.

Pfeffer's flamboyant cuttlefish pulsed yellow and purple when we approached. Longhorn cowfish and helmut gurnards skimmed fast and low.







Frogfish - or anglerfish - in an unlikely range of colours remained motionless no matter how closely we approached; stoical and somehow dignified despite their absurdly comical appearance.  





Hairy Frogfish
I fell for the hairy version big-time. Of course it's not hair at all but skin filaments.  Nevertheless the hairy frogfish looks cute and cuddly enough to pet.







Lethally camouflaged dragonets, waspfish, scorpionfish and lionfish required constant vigilance as we homed in on likely spots in our search for critters. 






Snake eels hole-up in the sand with just their heads protruding. As we were photographing one a ghostly spaghetti-like tentacle emerged from the sand.  It quested blindly for a few seconds before vanishing again.  Never has the underwater world felt as alien as it did for those few eerie moments.




As a dive destination, North Sulawesi is a great place to find unusual, rare and beautiful animals (or queer underwater creatures, if you will).



See you tomorrow - I'll be heading west. Can you guess where and what the next animal will be?



If you want to blog-hop to the next A-Z Challenge blog, please click HERE




32 comments:

  1. There are some very odd things living in the sea, aren't there?

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    1. There really are, Patsy. It's a continuous source of wonder to me.

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  2. Now that's sneaky!! Queer things!! I think we'll have to veto that one!!
    West? To the rhinos of Africa??

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    1. But I haven't seen a quoll and have no personal photos of quails - so I had to be inventive! :)
      Rhino? Hmm, wait and see...

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    2. Hmmm... yes, I waited and saw!! ;-) (And won!)

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  3. Great photos! I also like the Hairy Frogfish, it looks really cute :)

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    1. Hairy frogfish are such strange little fish - but I love 'em!

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  4. Those are amazing photos! The various frogfish are my favorites.

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    1. There is something very endearing about Frogfish, Karen - and they come in a range of extraordinary colours!

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  5. Love the shot of the protruding eel head.

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    1. This one had just had a cleaner shrimp on its head. Sadly, we missed that particular shot. :)

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  6. It's a different world down there. The shapes, the colours - fascinating.

    Keith's Ramblings

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  7. I think of all the places on our planet, the underwater world is the most unknown and the most fascinating, Keith.

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  8. Some of them almost look like cartoon creatures. So lovely.

    @Kathleen01930
    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge

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    1. Hi, Kathleen - thanks for dropping in. You're right about them almost looking like cartoon creatures! :)

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  9. Oh my gosh, what a treat! For you and for us.

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    1. Hi Sandra, I'm glad you enjoyed my treat! :)

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  10. The ocean has so many unusual creatives. I love that octopus. The blue is so vibrant.

    @WeekendsinMaine
    Weekends in Maine

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    2. They only flash the blue colour when they're giving off a warning, Karen. The rings are barely discernible until you approach and then the colour intensifies in a clear message that says 'Back off!'.

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  11. Amazing photos of such unusual creatures. Thank you for sharing them.

    Aneeta from
    How to Tell a Great Story

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  12. That snake-eel would have unnerved me!

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  13. They do look a bit unnerving, don't they? I've only every seen their heads and I'd like to see the whole animal one day!

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  14. On your Quest for Queer you have certainly found a good Quantity!

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  15. That's the tip of the iceberg, Liz! :)

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  16. Amazing. I've read about some of these, but not the fish with its head sticking out - do you know what the tentacle belonged to? ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

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    1. No, I never discovered who the owner of the tentacle was.

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  17. Ok you are braver than I am because I knew that octopus is lethal...pretty but lethal. All the other one are so neat but you were surrounded by poisonous things.

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    1. Not brave, Birgit - just very careful. The trick when diving is to control your buoyancy so that you hover in the water and don't touch anything.
      Incidentally, blue ring octopuses are not aggressive. I've seen several and they always flash a warning as they retreat.

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