Discover Living Treasures Hidden Around the Maldives
If you try to find the Maldives’ islands on Google Maps you’ll find they’re almost hidden, engulfed by the Indian Ocean, just mere specks that are only apparent with some searching. There are underwater species around these islands that like to hide as well – at first glance you may not see them on the reef. Maldives’ reefs are perfect for a treasure hunt, where the riches you’ll find are diverse living creatures of all shapes and sizes. Let’s explore a few of the sneaky, modest creatures and find out what to look for to catch a glimpse of them.
You’re more likely to catch a glimpse of a peeking head than the meandering motion of the moray eel on the Maldives reef. These intimidating-looking creatures live among corals in holes and crevices. A sort of snake in the sea, the eel is known for its strength and sharp teeth which they use mainly at night to feed on fish and crustaceans. They show a sense of curiosity toward divers and aren’t known to attack without provocation.
Look carefully at the hollows between corals to spot the moray eel snout while it sneakily surveys its surroundings.
Thanks to their extraordinary efforts to keep themselves concealed, you could be looking right at an octopus and not even know it. They seemingly morph into plants, rocks and corals by changing their color and appearance. Once they are on the move though, they’re unmistakeable – the way they extend their limbs and slither over surfaces, reaching their ultra-stretchy appendages into cracks and crevices. Even the stealthily hidden moray eel isn’t safe.
While a picture says a thousand words, a video of the octopus tells an unbelievable story. One we thought only possible in science fiction. Try to capture the octopus in action and as it changes appearance so that you can marvel over its abilities long after the short dive moment has passed.
While the hard outer shell of Maldives’ corals are easily visible and can be found in colorful varieties, the living coral organisms (called polyps) are not so easy to find. Polyps generally come out at night to collect their food sources, so a night dive would provide the best opportunity to see the rock-like formations come alive. Tentacle-like extensions come out of the tiny holes in the coral’s form, a great macro photo opportunity.
While sightings of whitetip sharks and grey reef sharks are common in the Maldives archipelago, nurse sharks are more of an enigma. Nocturnal and more limited in number, nurse sharks are a sighting to relish. They like their resting spots. That is – they generally stay under submerged coral ledges or reef crevices or even simply rest on their fins on the sea floor. Their rocky grey color blends in well with the seabed.
Cave dive sites like Fulidhoo Caves near Dhiggiri, in Vaavu Atoll, is known as a nurse shark hangout. There is also a known dive location in the North of the Maldives, accessible from Hanimaadhoo, where the sleepy creatures lie. During night dives is the ideal time to see these beautifully daunting creatures in action.
The Maldives is known for several types of rays including the majestic manta ray, the awesome eagle ray and the sly stingray. Flat stingray bodies allow them to sneak beneath the surface of the sand to conceal themselves. Letting the movement of the tides take them, they often stay still there, hidden among the sands. Since they will probably know you’re there before you’re aware of them, they usually glide away to avoid contact with divers. When divers or snorkelers enter the water on foot through shallow waters there is a possibility to step on a stingray in the sand – in which case they might go into defensive mode. Unless they feel threatened however, they will not use their barbed tail. It’s suggested that divers kick up a bit of sand as they walk along in shallow waters in order to scare them away and avoid contact.
A great time to see these toothless and velvety rays in action is when they head to shallow waters to feed.
Ranging from small to large, these shy, sneaky species can be found around the low-lying Maldives island chain. Their use of sand and coral formations to camouflage and escape from view will make spotting them a fun challenge during your Maldives diving trip. Which will you catch sight of first? The sleeping shark, the chameleon octopus or the sandy stingray? Have the best chance of sighting diverse and plentiful marine life by diving multiple times per day on a liveaboard trip. Deals are on now with Maldives Dive Travel’s Constellation Fleet Promotion
Discover Living Treasures Hidden Around the Maldives is a post from: Maldives Blog
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