We headed out with just a few hours left before the appearance of night. A group of excited divers awaiting the magic of a twilight and night dive on the reefs of Palm Beach, Florida.
With about an hour before the sun would set, this is the best time to see the creatures from the undersea world reproduce. Some, like the hamlet, will chase each other across the reef before joining together up in the water column. Others, like the male crab, will passionately caress his female companion. Lobsters were huddling together in numbers throughout the reef. Their antennas waving in the air. Others giving chase across the sandy bottom.
The magic of the reef at night doesn’t stop as the sun sets. Numerous nocturnal creatures appears during the cloak of night. A favorite of mine is the black brotula. This unique looking creature appears to have been created by Dr. Frankenstein. The works of a mad scientist experiment gone wrong. This distinctive-looking creature has the face of a fish, and the body of an eel. About three inches long, it hides in the recesses of the reef. Surprisingly, he is an important citizen of the underwater world, for when all the other cleaners, such as the shrimps and gobies, are resting, the black brotula is busy doing the job of the cleaners — ridding fish of parasites. What makes this fish even more unique is the fact that it is the only live-bearer in Caribbean and tropical waters. With a little luck and a lot of persistence I was fortunate to find one.
The ocean world at night not only offers us a glimpse into another world, but under closer observation you can see everything from sex on the reef to Frankenstein fish. If you have never done a night dive in Palm Beach, you are missing out. Join us for an experience you will always remember!
If you would like to purchase any of these prints, please contact Laz at TheLivingSea.com.