Monday, 25 April 2016

U IS FOR UNICORNFISH : A-Z Challenge

Welcome to Day 21 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is:


'Wildlife Encounters'


Amended version of a 2015 blog post titled Touching the Unicorn


The first time someone mentioned unicornfish I was intrigued. Unicornfish? 
Surely the stuff of legends and fairytales! 
Of course the reason for this name is more prosaic. Unicornfish have a protrusion between their eyes, some more obvious than others.  I have to confess to feeling somewhat disappointed when I identified my first unicornfish. Visions of endearing fish in My Little Pony colours were shattered. Generally drab coloured, it is the ‘horn’ that makes the unicornfish instantly recognisable rather than its ‘plumage’.

So, I ignored unicornfish in favour of the flamboyant and flirtatious strumpets of the fish world.

Yet, the unicornfish had something up their metaphoric fishy sleeves that would knock the others’ behaviour into a cocked hat… their curiosity of divers and our bubbles.

Pause for any length of time around unicornfish and they’ll hover above you in your stream of bubbles. There is something enormously appealing about any wild creature that is willing to interact.



Now, whenever I spotted unicornfish on a dive, I would wait to see whether they would approach and hang out in my bubbles.

On the last two occasions that I went diving in The Maldives I enjoyed close encounters with unicornfish. 

The first experience was with a unicornfish who stayed put when I reflexively reached out towards it, allowing my fingers to brush against its surprisingly velvety skin.

The second experience occurred just last month. A unicornfish faced me head on. We looked at each other. I reached out and to my astonishment it approached and touched the tip of my finger with its soft mouth in what felt like a little kiss.


See you tomorrow – I’m heading south 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





42 comments:

  1. I reckon you have us all suckered there!! Unicorn fish and all!! Next you'll be telling us about leprechaun fish and zebra shrimps! ;-)
    You've got to be heading back to Southern Africa to see the vervit monkeys!! :D

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    1. Now, now... leprechaun fish indeed! But zebra shrimps and zebra fish, just like the unicornfish, do exist. :)

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    2. Aaah... you see, I've extricated the Z confession out of you!! Whooppee!! ;-)

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    3. Hah! But will my Z post be about one of them?

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  3. I've learned something new again! Great photos, too. I really admire your adventures and must admit I couldn't be able to do the half of stuff you did (diving, for example). It must have been great to experience all that.

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  4. Scuba diving is far and away my favourite sport, Zeljka.

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  5. I've seen pictures of these fish. Very cool that one *kissed* your finger tips!

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    1. It was so unexpected, Bish. Fish don't normally approach like that.

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  6. Diving in the Maldives. Sounds heavenly!

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  7. What interesting little fish--sort of like tiny narwhals.

    @Kathleen01930
    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge

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    1. Ha ha - I never thought of them like that, Kathleen!

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  8. Love the name, but no. No bright colours. But it is such an interesting fish, at least from your description.
    Could Vulture be next on your list?

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    1. It's a great name, isn't it? Vulture? Maybe... maybe not... :)

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  9. unicorn fish must be an active fish...I wonder how it eats if it has horn

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    1. Good question, Jahnavi - the protuberance is high enough on their heads not to interfere with their mouths.

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  10. I think you have made me fall in love with unicornfish. You have just assured they will be in the new book I am writing which has Captain Nemo in it. I will be a gentleman and not hawk its title on your lovely blog. :-) Thanks for your visits and comments on my blog.

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    1. Your comment has made me very happy, Roland - thank you!

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  11. You were kissed by a unicorn fish. That's too special and I feel a story coming on. LOL Instead of a frog it's a unicorn fish or merman????

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    1. Yes, a kiss from a unicornfish is a first for me! :)

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  12. Oh! How wonderful! I want to meet one! And they are quite an interesting shape... ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

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  13. They're fabulous, Liz - and their curiosity in divers is really sweet.

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  14. A friendly fish - that's awesome! I've never been diving but it looks amazing.

    @WeekendsinMaine
    Weekends in Maine

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    1. Diving is amazing, Karen - it's also very addictive. :)

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  15. How fantastic to have one approach you and touch you. I love the description of it giving you a kiss. How marvelous! A whole beautiful world undersea. I'm always delighted to see it through your eyes and mask. :)

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    1. Thank you, Sue. The underwater world is such an incredible place, it's something I love to share with anyone who cares to listen. :)

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  16. With all the dangerous animals you've encountered, it must be nice to find some that will politely interact with you.

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    1. Ha ha - yes, I suppose that's true. My unicornfish 'kiss' will always be a delightful memory.

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  17. That's amazing! You have the best adventures.

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    1. Law of averages, Sandra... I've had some gruelling, unpleasant experiences too.

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  18. Oh, the kiss of a unicorn! Maybe you have now been granted three wishes.
    @deb_atwood from
    Pen In Her Hand

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    1. Ha ha - I never thought of that, Deb! I'll make those wishes right now. :)

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    2. DEB - your blog isn't accepting my comments - it keeps popping up with a little box saying 'this email exists in our database'.

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  19. I have never done scuba diving, but the fish I encountered when I was snorkling never wanted to hang around. It would be fun to have one play in your bubbles or kiss your fingers :)

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

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    1. No, fish don't normally approach which is what makes the unicornfish so special. (Well there are other notable fish that also approach divers, but I'll same them for other blog posts.)

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  20. I'd never heard of a unicornfish. Before I saw your photos I guessed it might be a type of seahorse (well, why not!). It's a whole new world under the waves, isn't it?

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  21. A whole new world of wonders, Linda. :)

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  22. That is so cool that they came right up to you. I would love that

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    1. It was a fabulous experience, Birgit.

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