The Lembeh Strait is a narrow channel situated between the deep water port of Bitung, on North Sulawesi, and Lembeh Island. Apart from a lot of garbage thrown in from all the freight ships, more garbage blown in from the mainland, and fine black sand and silt coming from the adjacent volcanoes, it is an unique ecological niche. And life in its most alien forms inhabits it.
Most of the fish, mollusks, cephalopods, crustaceans etc living here either hide or mimic some other life form. Almost all of them are poisonous. All of them are extremely interesting and eccentric. Some examples:
One of the many nudibranch species.
Radiant Sea Urchins.
Bright orange Frogfish.
Poisonous: I don’t think so?!
Horned Helmet Shell.
Poisonous: Don’t think so.
Eccentric: That, too.
Two Cockatoo Waspfish.
Mimic: Yes, resembling leaves.
Banggai Cardinals and a Porcelain Crab on Anemone.
Poisonous: The Anemone is.
Pretty: Oh yes.
An Elongated Heart Urchin.
Poisonous: When in doubt…
Eccentric: Whoa, what’s that?
One of my diving buddies.
And then, there is the Hairy Frogfish, unsurpassed in eccentricity…
After diving with aliens, it is good to come back to the surface and remember that the accommodation and food are perfectly normal…
Date: Oct 28th to Nov 2nd, 2016