Snorkeling with the Colors of Komodo
Colors are a major part of what we, as snorkelers, experience in the underwater world, especially in coral reef ecosystems. As the various wavelengths of natural light reflect off shallow fish and invertebrates we are treated to a thousand different shade variations on color, more than one would ever hope to find at the Home Depot paint center. And, the colors are continually changing due to the diffusion of sunlight as well as the use of marine organisms’ chromatophores. During our latest trip in Komodo National Park we were treated to marine habitats and their inhabitants that displayed extraordinary colors so we thought a short blog devoted to color would be appropriate. From the ever-present anemonefish and their host anemones to Peacock mantis shrimp, vibrant nudibranchs of every shape, and hue-morphing cephalopods – squid, cuttlefish, and octopus, the many underwater habitats we explored were ripe with color. But, it wasn’t just the colors that made Komodo’s surrounding reefs so eye-popping, it was also the patterns, textures, and the behaviors associated with all the crazy vertebrates and invertebrates that thrive in this area. All in all, coral reef life is always depicted with bright colors yet Komodo’s marine organisms surpassed any expectation in regards to this. We cannot wait to get back to this part of the Lesser Sunda Islands to experience once again the layers upon layers of reef life and the underwater kaleidoscope there.