05 Jul 2018 by Olga Brighton
Want an exciting and rewarding pastime to do while on holiday in the sun? If so, then make sure you pack your snorkel and diving gear. Once you’ve chosen a comprehensive travel insurance policy that covers this activity; decided on which tropical paradise to visit; the only thing left is count down the days until you get to those cool, clear waters and see the stunning marine life that Mother Nature has to offer. Here are 8 must-see sea creatures when diving or snorkelling, and where to find them.
Clown trigger fish are some of the coolest-looking fish you will ever see. Growing up to 50cm in length, clown trigger fish are predominantly black with white spots, a yellow mouth, and they feature a yellow section with black spots normally on their backs.
Best of all is the fact that they can be found in waters as shallow as just 1 metre, or in depths as deep as 75 metres. This makes them great for beginners who don’t want to swim too deep underwater. Primarily, they can be found in waters around the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. This country is among 5 best beaches for crystal clear water.
Manta rays can be found in waters all over the globe, including: the Maldives, Thailand, and even in Mozambique. Manta is actually Spanish for ‘blanket’ and if you see a Manta Ray, you’ll know why that is. These creatures are slow and majestic and can grow up to 6 metres in length. Best of all is that they have been known to frequently interact with divers, rather than swimming away.
Everybody loves a turtle, don’t they? Sea turtles are incredibly endearing, and best of all is the fact that there are many different species. Sadly, many of them are endangered, but conservation efforts have made great progress. Found in waters in the Caribbean, Egypt, the Maldives, Thailand, and Malaysia, sea turtles can live as long as 80 plus years. Because of their temperaments and where they like to frequent, many novice divers and snorkelers have had close-up experiences with sea turtles, and you could too. If you want to film meeting turtles on your camera, learn how to use GoPro for water adventure activities.
Virtually everybody in the world now knows what clown anemone fish looks like because of the "Finding Nemo", a block buster film. Located in countless snorkelling and diving hot spots all over the globe, Clown anemone fish are very common, but that doesn’t make them any less beautiful. Predominantly orange with white stripes and hints of black, these fish are fun to look at and as they are so common, many novice divers and snorkelers successfully get up close and personal with them.
Eels are funny creatures – are they fish, snakes? Who knows? Well, one thing we do know is that they’re fascinating to look at. When diving, many people encounter a variety of different species of eel, including giant and white-eyed moray eels, which are commonly found in waters around Phuket, Thailand. You can also find species including: yellow-edged eels, zebra eels, snowflake eels, and more besides. They come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and patterns, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for them.
Harlequin shrimps are probably the most beautiful creatures in the shrimp family, so it’s no wonder why so many snorkelers are keen to see them. They’re very bright and colourful, but make no mistake about it, they’re not easy to spot in the wild. If you are lucky enough to spot one however, your luck may double because the shrimp are almost exclusively found in pairs. They love eating sea stars, aka starfish, so if you encounter one of those, a Harlequin Shrimp is probably in the area. Again, found all over Thailand, these shrimp are well worth looking for.
Eagle rays can be found in the Maldives, the Galapagos, and in waters around Egypt, and they’re incredibly beautiful members of the ray family. They almost always swim in schools, though some may swim alone. If you’re diving and you do see a school of these rays, they’ll almost always be swimming overhead, and will look like a flock of birds. This sight is truly very special. Eagle rays are very timid creatures, so they are highly unlikely to attack, unless provoked.
And last on our list we have seahorses. Seahorses mate for life, the male gives birth rather than the female, and they have a territory of just 1.4 square metres. Found in parts of the Mediterranean, as well as the Bahamas and Asia, seahorses are truly unique and captivating as they gently bob around in the water.
So, have we convinced you to pack your snorkel and diving gear? Great, then choose travel insurance, book your tickets, and prepare to see the wonders of what the sea has to offer.