10 Oct

Coolest Underwater Inhabitants

Bali’s Coolest Underwater Inhabitants | Best Dive Job Blog by Joe Zeiler

As my time here at Blue Season nears its end, I’ve decided that it’s a great time to share with our readers some of the coolest undersea inhabitants here in Bali.  We all know about Bali’s famous Mola Molas and Mantas but there are so many other cool creatures to visit while you’re here.

Recently I was browsing through one of our Divemaster intern’s pictures and came across this lovely shot.

It’s a mantis shrimp, one of my favorite undersea creatures. Mantis shrimp range in size from 2 to 30 cm and come is a variety of colours from simple brown to the shimmering greens, blues and purples of the Peacock Mantis Shrimp. They inhabit excavated burrows and crevices and spend most of the day either hiding or quickly dashing around looking for food which makes a mantis shrimp encounter during the day that much more exciting. They might be small and they may be beautiful but don’t be fooled, the mantis shrimp packs a fearful punch and is one of the most deadly creatures under the sea. Mantis shrimp attack their prey using two appendages which they can extend to dismember their prey with the same force as a .22 caliber bullet. In fact, their claws move so fast that they create an underwater shock wave which alone can kill their prey. You can imagine why you don’t see mantis shrimps in captivity, they can actually break the aquarium glass with one swing of their claws!

But don’t worry, mantis shrimps are shy and harmless to divers if they are passively observed. They make beautiful subjects for photos and if they are approached calmly will rest outside their burrows long enough for you to catch a glimpse.

Mantis shrimp can be found in many of Bali’s dive sites. We often see them in Tulamben and Seraya but they can also be spotted in many of the sites around Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. On your next dive trip in Bali make sure to ask your guide to help you find one of the beautiful little critters and don’t forget your camera!

If you like Mantis Shrimp as much as I do, you’ll want to check out this cool website, it’s my favorite!

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