Saturday, August 1, 2009

A little Mystery

Ah, my pretty corals.  Let's see, Stars, Brains, and some fluffy little plants down in front.  There's a hole, must be a sponge.  Don't you love how some of the corals look like Elf's hats? 

OK, a different format here, writing in the middle.  On the left is the original photo, in this case a cropped bit of the picture above.  A wee tuft of algae is on top of the brain coral.  
I have a terrible option called 'quick fix'  Makes sometimes drastic changes in photos, an automatic balancing of colors, I guess.  So here is the 'quick fix' on the right, the algae pops out glowing red.  This is called fluorescence, or fluorescing.  The Scientists don't really understand it, but they caught enough jellyfish in a small bay up north someplace that they refined out the whatever that makes the glowing colors, and now the medical community has colors to use for blood testing and other things.
 Here are fixes of corals that are fluorescing.  Again, no one understands this.  That I've found, anyway.  Sometimes it's a reaction to stress, water too hot, or maybe a sponge attack (??)  At home, my sponges just sit there under the sink unless I'm abusing them, and even then they don't change color...
But corals sometimes glow, and it really shows up in photos.
 . This little flat guy showed up to my eyes while diving as brightly as the fixed photo on the right.  A Sinuous Cactus Coral.

And here's my very first photo that showed me this fluorescence.  I was casually fixing some images after a dive, and ...

I was SO surprised.  I'd never seen anything like this.  That coral is really out there glowing.  Since this is a boat dive location, I have been unable to revisit this fellow since then to take a series of photos over time.  Boooo.

Oh, there are boat dives and shore dives.  Should be self explanitory.  Much diving is done on reefs that are inaccessable except from a boat.  Shore dives are precious because you can hang out on the beach and dive at your leisure, just a swim away from the reef.  Because I own all my gear, I can do a shore dive for the cost of filling my tank, five US dollars.  The cost of a boat dive for locals is around fifty dollars.  To buy my own boat for diving would be thousands and thousands of dollars, so a boat dive for fifty is a bargain.

Ok, enough for today.  I don't want to bore you!

Thanks for stopping by!

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