e n c o u n t e r s


The Black Brotula The Black Brotula
Yellowface Pikeblenny Smackdown! Within three feet, I slowed and inched forward until I spied the Daffy Duck profile of a Yellowface Pikeblenny staring back from the opening of an abandoned worm tube.
Stargazers Stargazers (this one photographed in Indonesia) are equipped with venomous shoulder spines and electric organs behind the eyes. These are much weaker than those of Electric Rays and Eels.
The Elusive Barbu The rarely photographed Barbu hide from casual observation in brackish waters, estuaries and shallow water along the shore.
Side Gilled Sea Slug At first I thought it was an unusual cephalopod, and although it is related to them, it was definitely not a squid, cuttlefish or octopus.
Decorator Crabs Camouflaging allows animals to share an environment filled with predators. It also engenders some of the most delightfully bizarre creatures in the sea. The fun comes in finding them.
Diving the Passages of the Golden Doubloon From about 1650 until nearly 1730, the Caribbean Basin was a wild and wooly place, the domain of the pirates.
Harlequin Shrimp When I hear the word harlequin, I imagine a court jester bedecked in colorful tights and a mask to conceal his identity.
Feeding Spotted Eagle Ray In the mid-1990s my partner Paul Humann and I were on Grand Cayman searching for a rare species of finger coral that he knew to exist in the shallow waters of North Sound.
Awakening the Dragon The mysteries of Southeast Asia are the stuff of legend; ancient, sensual cultures, exotic foods and incredible natural beauty, with mountainous rain forests filled with unusual, brightly-colored animal life of every description.
Allied Cowries At first glance, it’s hard to tell where one animal ends and the other begins.
Let Us Amuse You Photographers aren't always focused on the awesome, sometimes they just want to make you laugh.
Post-larval Fish Over the years I have heard curious tales of fish falling from the sky. Possibly sucked from lakes by swirling tempests, the reluctant skyriders later tumble back to earth far from home.
Steward of the Whale Shark Operation Whale Shark, a study of the world’s largest, but most docile, fish.
Dragon Seamoth After a long swim over a sandy bottom in my quest for something different, I was about to head back to the reef when something caught my eye.
Shooting Squirts (Nov 99) Pygmy seahorses are called that for a good reason—they are very, very small. The largest ones are less than 31/44” tall and most are no more than half an inch high...
Desert Storm I have selected a photograph captured during an important time in American history, the Gulf War in the Middle East. I have titled this image Desert Storm.
A Golden Seahorse Revered for thousands of years, seahorses have garnered their place in mythology—why, even Poseidon has been depicted as an equestrian in his seahorse-driven chariot!
Renaissance Holding my breath, I freedived to 40 feet, then leveled off. When I looked up, there she was, only 15 feet away, casting a giant shadow over me.
The Great Wet North On the road in the wilds of Alaska, divers battle Grizzlies, reindeer and the frigid cold to get a peek at the colorful marine life that awaits below.
Solar-Powered Nudibranch Nudibranchs are among the most beautiful animals in the sea.
Cozumel Mystery Diving Cozumel, in addition to having clear water, excellent marine life and mountainous walls, is very close and convenient to the U.S. mainland.
Jumpin' Jehoshaphat! The Rough File Clam is among the most interesting and lovely creatures who can actually jump and swim about.
The Bobtail Squid The Bobtail Squid, Euprymna sp., is a sepiolid cephalopod, a soft-bodied invertebrate related to octopuses.
Marvelous Mollusk After sunset, on reefs throughout the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic, one of the ocean’s most lovely octopuses can be seen prowling across the bottom...
Shells—Creatures of the Night On nighttime reefs, some of nature’s most beautiful and least understood animals—shells—prowl in search of food...
Let 'Em Eat Worms On night dives in the Caribbean, you’ll often see a swirling, dancing swarm of tiny, reddish-brown worms that will gather around your dive light....
Sharks of the Pacific and Indian Oceans What follows are the top shark encounters of the Pacific and the Indian Oceans; ten articles on ten areas by nine authors.
Muck Beauties The daytime denizens of Lembeh Strait are weird enough. But when night drops her mantle and Stygian blackness claims the sluggish waters of the Strait, a new cast of characters takes the muck stage.
Snorkeling with Señor Big Whether you are a diver or a snorkeler, a photographer or a spectator, you are destined at some point to hear the gut wrenching, teeth clenching, enormously irritating phrase: You should have been here last week.
The Trials and Tribulations of Documentary Filmmaking After accepting a contract to make a multimillion dollar, giant format (IMAX) film about sharks, I decided it would be wise to select a location where I had a good chance of finding some.
In the Company of Giants Despite their substantial size, intelligence and visual and acoustic acuity, Humpback Whales are relatively shy, even timid creatures when it comes to confrontations with man.
The Varied Carpetshark If you want to see a Varied Carpetshark, also known as the Necklace Carpetshark, you will have to arrange a diving trip off western or southern Australia. This very uncommonly encountered fish is only found in that area and little is known about it.
The Whale Shark One would suspect it would be relatively easy to spot a 40 foot fish with a gaudy black and white checkerboard design, swimming casually at or near the surface. Surprisingly, Whale Shark encounters are extremely uncommon.
The Elusive Seahorse To this day, after ten years of underwater exploring, I still bubble with the exuberance of a six year old at the sight of a seahorse.
Psycho Cudas In rare cases, divers have actually been attacked by Barracuda for no logical or apparent reason. The fish is not attempting to eat you, so there must be something else going on here.
The Basking Shark The Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus) belongs to an extremely interesting order, Lamniformes, the Mackerel Sharks. Its cousins include Great White, Mako, Megamouth, Goblin, Thresher, Sand Tiger and Crocodile Sharks.
Piscine Curiosities Actually, fish have incredibly elaborate dating rituals that include choreographed mating dances, dramatic body signals and wild color changes.
Take a Peek at the Reefs Condo Critters Within the reefs rocky maze of nooks, crannies and crevices lurk fish of assorted shapes and sizes and a legion of invertebrates such as shrimp, crabs, lobster and octopuses.
Memorable Encounters with Sea Creatures What does it take to get a dive guide excited? Working on live-aboard boats, these people encounter big animals time after time...
A Diver Discovers the 7 Levels of Shark Awareness The very first time I dipped a fin into the ocean, I was seriously concerned about sharks. Come to think of it, I was terrified.