Diving with Pygmy Seahorses
Most divers only see what they know. No marine species knows this better than the pygmy seahorse. Countless divers, day-after-day, swim right past this tiny Indo-Pacific fish without realizing their existence. It was no different for scientists, as it was not until 1970 when the first pygmy seahorse was scientifically described.
Pygmy seahorses have since become famous as more and more photos started appearing. Suddenly, avid divers from around the world flocked to the Indo-Pacific in search of these elusive seahorses. Pictures of possible new species began appearing as well. In fact, a second one was described in 1997, Minotaur hippocampus, considered native to South Australia.
Where to Dive With Pygmy Seahorses
The fact that pygmy seahorses remained undetected for so long is not only due to their tiny dimensions. Living on horn coral, they have evolved to mimic the color and structure of their surroundings almost exactly. Many times, it is hard to see them even if your buddy points directly at it.
Diving with Catfish
Like no other freshwater fish, the catfish is surrounded by legend. Everyone knows him, but in many countries the catfish is more elusive and can grow to be the largest freshwater predator.
Where to Dive With Catfish
Catfish can reach up to 2 meters in length and 75 kilograms. This freshwater giant likes cloudy, standing, or slowly flowing water. Chances of seeing catfish are higher in the early morning as they love the dawn, hiding under branches or roots during the day. If you can spot one in its shelter, chances are good to see it in the same spot again on the next dive.
Diving the World Famous Sardine Run
Tiny fish of 20-30 cm in length, sardines may not sound like the most thrilling fish to see while diving, but what if they were streaming past you by the millions? One of the most impressive spectacles in the animal kingdom is when these fish gather in gigantic swarms just off the coast of South Africa every year.
Where to Dive the Sardine Run
The great sardine run takes place annually between late May and July. These fish gather at the Agulhas Bank in front of the southern tip of Africa. As they move northeast toward Durban, they congregate in schools that can exceed 15 km long and over 3 km wide! Dive down to 30 meters deep, and you will see these spectacular sardines follow a cold current that forms along the coast every year at this time.