I emerged at the ocean’s surface, coral measuring tools in hand, and a mind fully boggled. After months of diving in the same coral reef, I was still seeing corals I hadn’t seen before. This last one, Mycedium sp., was hidden under a rock and required me to hover upside down to be able to see it entirely. Its psychedelic green and blue hues had a texture I cannot begin to describe. I distinctly remember thinking to myself ‘how could this be real?
That's how I continue to feel every time I am swimming amidst coral!
This is not an illusion. This is real. It lives.
Diplostrea. Some of the more massive looking coral boulders here in the Andamans, perhaps because they escaped the coral bleaching episode of 2010.
Large rocks carpeted with a layer of tightly packed wheel-like coralites.
You might catch yourself squinting at these structures wondering if they're spinning or if your mind is playing tricks!
When winter comes early. A sea fan with its open polyps looks like a tree covered in snow!
Dreaming about swimming through this garden of gorgonians.
Admiring how massive these coral installations are, the walls of cardinalfish that hide behind their fans, and glass shrimps that hide in plain sight amidst the polyps.