WEIRD & COLOURFUL

Strange sea animals that will interest and inspire you. Cool and bizarre sea creatures, breathtaking natural wonders that look like they'd be more at home in a science fiction movie than in the depths just off the beach where you spent your summer vacation. These stunning underwater creatures offer an ethereal beauty hard to reproduce on land. Have a look at them here through the eye of my lens...

DIMINOVULA MARGARITA

Diminovula margarita is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Ovulidae, the ovulids, cowry allies or false cowries. Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

CERIANTHUS

Purple star. Cerianthus is a genus of tube-dwelling anemones in the family Cerianthidae. Members of the genus are found worldwide. They are predators, scavengers and omnivores. Anilao, South Luzon, Philipines

PEDUM SPONDYLOIDEUM

The pectinid scallop Pedum spondyloideum occurs almost exclusively on massive coral colonies of the genus Porites. These scallops have reduced the effects of recent heavy levels of predation by the starfish Acanthaster planci on their coral hosts on the Great Barrier Reef. Scallops repel foraging starfish and other echinoderms on contact by repeated expulsion of jets of water. Nuweiba, Gulf of Aqaba, Egypt

TUBASTRAEA COCCINEA

Although it is a hard coral, it is classified as ahermatypic, meaning that it is not considered a reef-building coral. Orange cup coral also lacks any symbiotic algae and is, therefore, not dependent on photosynthesis for food production. In fact, it actually prefers shaded vertical areas such as dock pilings, small caves, and walls beneath overhanging ledges. Anilao, South Luzon, Philippines

ALVEAPORA GIGAS

Branching flower pot coral consists of colonies which are composed of blunt-ended irregular columns. Corallites have thin, highly perforated walls of interconnected rods and spines. Polyps are up to 100 millimeters long and 20 millimeters diameter when fully extended. Color: Oral discs and tentacle tips are white, the rest of the polyps are brown or greenish-brown. Nuweiba, Gulf of Aqaba, Egypt

LENTIGO LENTIGINOSUS

EYE OF THE SILVER CONCH. The elongate tube irregularly striped with green and black on the right side is the proboscis, with its mouth at the very tip. Like all other mollusks, this species grazes on algae. (Gastropoda Strombidae) Anilao, South Luzon, Philippines.

SPIROBRANCHUS GIGANTEUS

Christmas tree worm’s most distinct features are two "crowns" shaped like Christmas trees. These are highly modified prostomial palps, which are specialized mouth appendages. Each spiral is composed of feather-like tentacles called radioles, which are heavily ciliated and cause any prey trapped in them to be transported to the worm's mouth. While they are primarily feeding structures, S. giganteus also uses its radioles for respiration; hence, the structures commonly are called "gills.”Nuweiba, Gulf of Aqaba, Egypt.

HERMODICE CARUNCULATA

Bearded fireworms are usually 15 centimeters in average length, but can reach up to 30 centimeters. At first glance, this fire worm looks like a centipede with its elongated and flattened appearance, its multiple segments, its white silks, its parapodia and gills located on the side of its body. Its colors are varied and range from greenish, to yellowish, to reddish, grayish through white with a pearly glow. The body consists of 60 to 150 identical segments separated from each other by a thin white line and protected by cuticles. Each segment has a pair of parapods, structure for locomotion, bunch of stinging white bristles and red or orange gills all in bilateral position. Beirut, Lebanon

GALAXEA FASCICULARIS

Small colonies of octopus coral often form low domes but as they grow, the colonies become more irregular, massively hummocky or columnar and may eventually reach 5 meters (16 ft) across. The polyps often feed in the daytime, and when their tentacles are extended the basic skeleton of the coral is hidden. Anilao, South Luzon, Philippines

COELOPLANA ASTERICOLA

Creeping Comb Jelly is a species of platyctenid ctenophore that is distributed throughout tropical waters of the western Pacific. Unlike other ctenophores C. astericola lives its entire life on the bottom. It lacks the cilia rows that are found in other ctenophores as it has no need to swim. It instead moves along the bottom via undulations, like a flatworm. C. astericola lives on the sea star Echinaster luzonicus lying still and motionless during the day. At night it will extend its feeding tentacles to catch passing planktonic prey. Anilao, South Luzon, Philippines.

CLAM

Big smile!! Details of the mantle and siphon of a clam encrusted in the rocks. Beirut, Lebanon

PEROPHORA NAMEI

Colonial tunicate is a sea squirt species in the genus Perophora found in Central Indo-Pacific. Sabang, Puerto Galera, Mindoro Oriental, Philippines

MARGOVULA MARGINATA

The margined egg cowrie has a white mantle with round red spots with thin dark margins; blunt white filaments; red siphon. Shell is creamed and unmarked. Inhabit soft corals. Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

FROMIA SP

This was a very tiny little sea star, its red color reflecting like a button on a white dress. Nuweiba, South Sinai, Egypt

GORGONIANS

Gorgonians are colonial animals attached to the substrate. Sea fans, sea whips and sea plumes are common examples. A colony's hold fast, although appearing rootlike, does not gather nutrients. Retractable polyps are embedded in the rind extending their tentacles and bodies through the surface openings. Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

ACTINOSTEPHANUS HAECKELI

This bizarre and scary-looking anemone is sometimes seen on shores burrowing in sand near reefy areas. Features: 10-20cm in diameter. It has about 12 long fat cylindrical tentacles that taper at the tips, and below these, another ring of much shorter, slimmer tentacles. Anilao, South Luzon, Philippines

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