Bites, burns: what marine creatures should you be wary of ?

Practicing scuba diving is not without consequences for the marine environment on one hand and for us on the other hand.

By immersing ourselves to make fabulous dives we expose ourselves to a fauna and a flora that can represent a real danger for us. It is therefore important to know and recognize marine animals.

Focus on risks and how to avoid them

Prevention

To avoid any bite and other burns sometimes severe, only one rule to follow: look and don’t touch

To stay alert you can during each of your dives:

  • Work well on your buoyancy (to avoid breaking everything and accidentally crushing you on a marine animal)
  • Wear a full dive suit even if very thin rather than a shorty
  • Keep a reasonable distance … and respect their territory
  • Stay calm to avoid sending marine animals a signal of aggression.
  • In front of big fish like sharks, stand upright so they can see you’re not a prey
  • If you accidentally entered their territory, move away without abrupt gestures and calmly so as not to send them an intrusion signal (the trigger fish will not like it at all 😉

The fish

Stones fish and scorpions fish

These two formidable fish have the distinction of being camouflage pros. Placed on stones, they blend into the background and remain motionless. As novice divers, you will probably find it difficult to notice them as they become part of their environment. With experience, your eye will be get used and you will spot them more easily. Be careful, their venom may be deadly!

If you take the good habit of not touching anything with your hands, no worries, you will like to meet them to make sometimes surprising pictures.

Poisson pierre photographié de face
© DifferentDive | DDIVE

Lion fish

Endemic in the Red Sea, this fish with dorsal fins containing powerful toxins is a plague in other seas of the world where it does not hesitate to take over other endemic species. Beautiful fish and loved by underwater photographers, he is not afraid and will let you approach easily. Normal, he knows he is powerful.

Beware of him when he unfolds in front of you 😉

Un poisson lion
© DifferentDive | DDIVE

The surgeon fish.

If you believe it is harmless with its beautiful colors, you are mistaken. This one is aptly named with its two blades positioned on each side of its tail.

They will cut you like a scalpel, be careful.

Un poisson coloré
© DifferentDive | DDIVE

The titan trigger fish

Well known to divers with its pretty colors and beautiful teeth, the titan triggerfish will not be afraid of you. Enter his territory and he will attack you without any hesitation, preferably from behind. It will be even more aggressive if you pass over his territory, so prefer, when you cross, to stay at the bottom.

Un baliste titan près du corail
© skeeze | Pixabay

Large fish

Contrary to what one might think, large fish are not so dangerous to divers.
Jack fish, groupers, tunas, barracudas, … they will not be afraid of you and will leave you alone if you do not provoke them. Although it may be impressive to be followed by a big solitary barracuda, it is more out of curiosity that he will act like that and not by aggressiveness.
The advantage of big fish is that you can not miss them and therefore no excuses to leave them alone and not disturb them.

Un gros poisson regarde l'objectif
© Differentdive | DDIVE

The Sharks

These very big fish are still victims of their (too) bad reputation.

If you fear them, I invite you to read the article devoted to them.

The moray eels

Anguilliform fish victim of his physical aspect perceived as scary, the moray eel is generally calm and discreet. Be careful not to put your fingers in his mouth … you probably regret it.

As we find a little everywhere during our dives at sea, read these few details to better know them can be interesting.

Une murène gueule grande ouverte
© DifferentDive | DDIVE

The rays

If they are beautiful, be careful when approaching rays.

Of a rather fearful nature and adopting a calm behavior, the rays might however be dangerous. Therefore, always leave them a passage so that they can escape when you observe them.

While the stingray may, for example, whip you with its sting and be lethal, the very pretty electric ray, as its name suggests, will send you a very strong discharge.

Watch but do not touch, we warned you …

Turtles

Turtles are often our darlings of the marine world. With their good looks and slow movement (only in appearance because following one is often difficult), we love to meet and take pictures. These apparently quiet reptiles do not like to be bothered (but who likes that?). A tip: do not bring your fingers near their mouths. The turtles have teeth that would cut them without any difficulty.

So be careful.

As they have a very bad vision but detect very well the movements of water, I can only advise you to remain very calm and motionless with these wonderful marine creatures with whom it is advisable (and respectful) to keep his distance. You want to be able to watch them? See you here for great encounters.

Une tortue qui nage vers la surface
© DifferentDive | DDIVE

Jellyfish

No need to tell you to stay away from these beautiful creatures with tentacles as graceful as dangerous.

Une méduse en Zélande
© DifferentDive | DDIVE

Seashells, corals and other creatures

The fire coral

The coral is fragile but can also be dangerous. My buddy unfortunately had the opportunity to test the effect of fire coral during a stay in Egypt. A diver above him had broken a piece of fire coral with his fins (pay attention to your buoyancy !!!). This piece has gently landed on his hand.

Besides the itching, it took several weeks for the hair to come back to this place … not bad but painful as a means of hair removal!

The cones

They have pretty shapes and remind us of our childhood when we collected them at the edge of the beach to make necklaces.

Caution however, some shells have a sting so powerful that it can be deadly for human beings.

Since it is difficult to know which are dangerous or not => avoid at all costs to touch shells!

The sea stars

Most starfish are harmless to us but still fragile. If they have good reputation, it is without counting the formidable acantastaire. Beautiful starfish, this powerful venomous coral eater often hides below its food. Do not touch under any circumstances.

The sea snake

With his little mouth, he will have a hard time biting you. Nevertheless, this formidable marine reptile has one of the most powerful venoms in the world. You will meet him mainly in Asia but also in Australia and New Caledonia)

So be carefull …

The stinging

Invisible but very annoying, difficult to protect against irritating plankton. You can not go wrong if they irritate you, you will feel an impression of sharp bites or burns on unprotected body parts (often around the mouth). Hence the interest of wearing a full dive suit even if very thin. The sensation usually disappears quickly enough (except in case of allergic reaction) and you can continue your dive.

So you are warned!

We are and remain intruders in the underwater world and we must know and understand how animals live there. It is up to us to adopt a respectful, non-invasive and prudent attitude to avoid incidents / accidents that could, in addition to disturbing the animals, have negative consequences for us.

So what attitude will you adopt with marine animals?

And most importantly, do not forget to be happy 🤗

Helene

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