Watch out! Dangerous Marine Animals ahead.
Scuba diving can really be a thrilling experience like no other. During a dive, you get to encounter and explore a whole other world, an existence beyond the surface that is completely different from life on land. From the landscape of coral reefs, caves, and wrecks, to the abundance of wildlife, diving allows people to go where they have never gone before.
It is no surprise that divers love to swim amongst impressive marine life, from fish to marine mammals and turtles. One of the perks of diving is the ability to encounter life forms that you would otherwise never have the chance of getting up-close-and-personal with.
Yet, at the same time, there are many potentially dangerous animals that live in the sea, and it is vitally important for divers and snorkelers alike to understand the risks, to be able to recognize species that can be harmful, and to understand the need to keep their distance, not only from delicate corals, but also from potentially dangerous marine animals as well.
Everyone knows that sharks, stingrays, and jellyfish should be avoided because they could pose a risk to human health. But here are some of other dangerous marine animals that all divers should be aware of, even though they may not appear dangerous at first sight.
Dangerous Marine Animals: Stinging Anemone
The majority of sea anemones are harmless, but be careful of the variety that do protect themselves by giving off toxic substances that can cause severe effects on the human body. If, while diving, you come across an anemone that looks somewhat like a fir tree, and it is blue-grey to light brown in colour, keep away from this dangerous creature.
Dangerous Marine Animals: Sea Snakes
If you see a sea snake while on a dive, keep a healthy distance. These snakes are more venomous than land snakes, although they tend to be quite docile and keep to themselves, as long as they are not provoked or bothered. Watch where you swim, and make sure you respect their space to avoid being bitten.
Dangerous Marine Animals: Stinging Corals
Sure, both hard and soft corals are incredible to look at, with beautifully vibrant coloration and interesting shapes. But, in addition to avoiding touching them for fear of damaging them, divers should avoid them because they could pose a health risk. Stinging corals, in particular, can be hard to distinguish from other corals because they vary in size and shape, from large, upright sheets to branches. However, the ones to avoid are typically a yellow-green to brown colour.
Dangerous Marine Animals: Hydroids
Divers are known for accidentally brushing up against these venomous creatures. Though they look like harmless, feathery plants, they have strong stinging cells that can cause a lot of damage and pain. Avoid the white, fine feathery variety, as well as the denser yellow-brown type.
Dangerous Marine Animals: Flower Urchin
This urchin is one of the most dangerous, and it has killed people who have been unfortunate enough to get stung by it. In place of the typical long spines found on sea urchins, the flower urchin has numerous flowers that are actually venomous, causing paralysis and death.
Dangerous Marine Animals: Crown-of-Thorns Starfish
Covered in intimidating thorn-like spines, this starfish is not friendly at all. In addition to the spines being sharp, they are also covered in venom, which can cause swelling, nausea, and vomiting. They have been known to break off and remain embedded in the victim’s skin as well.
Dangerous Marine Animals: Scorpionfish
Known as the most venomous fish in the sea, Scorpionfish also have incredible camouflaging abilities, so watch out for them amidst the rocks and sand, and watch where you place your feet and hands. The dorsal fins are so sharp that they can pierce through a diver’s shoes, and they have the venom that makes this seemingly harmless fish truly dangerous.
Dangerous Marine Animals: Blue-Ringed Octopus
While octopus species are often sought out by divers, the Blue-Ringed Octopus is one you will want to stay away from. Its deadly venom can kill nearly 30 humans in minutes. It may look small, colourful, and harmless, but you want to make sure you admire this one from a good distance.
As a diver you are responsible to keep the reefs clean and undamaged. Make sure you keep your buoyancy at all times and do not touch feed are harras any marine life. Dangerous marine animals are only a real threat if you come to close fro comfort "Make bubbles no troubles"
Did we mis any not so obvious marine animals? Let us know in the comments below
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Blog written by Rutger Thole who used to be a scuba scuba instructor but he got stuck in a suit a couple of years ago. Now he is on his way back, as a the founder of bookyourdive he travels and dives as much as he can. His motto as a start up founder and scuba diver is "The only good suit is a wetsuit"