Why an 80kg ray is so amazing.

Date August 4, 2020

Photo: Raj Bharathi / FB

A large honeycomb ray (Himantura undulata) was caught off Bedok jetty last week. It was described as the 2nd largest catch from that fishing spot, and the largest haul by a “shorewrangler” this year. According to various blogposts, the ray had a wingspan that measured between 2-3 meters and weighed somewhere around 70-100 kg (I’m going with 80kg).

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17-years of Sharing Singapore Reefs

Date March 22, 2020

Today, we celebrate how our local community has come together over 17 years to recognise the wonders of our little reef!

17 years ago, when our tiny team of volunteer guides were haphazardly trying to pull a volunteer organisation together, divers sneered and scoffed at how anyone could have a desire to dive in “pea soup”. We were asked, “What difference can you make?” while others recommended, “Wouldn’t it be better to get ang mohs (foreigners) to be vocal about Singapore reefs since the government seemed to care more about what foreigners wanted?”

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Hunters in murky waters

Date January 22, 2020

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Veteran diver, Toh Chay Hoon, has completed more than 800 dives in Singapore waters! “I stopped logging after my 300th dive, and that was many many years ago!” But on special, albeit low visibility days, she still gets enthralled by something new or unexpected. Above: A cool cuttlefish remains still even as our diver Chay Hoon moves within inches from it.

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Favourite moments from 2019

Date December 1, 2019

What makes Pulau Hantu special? “It is an island with dive sites situated right next to a very busy city such as Singapore,” shares diver Veronica Alcantara, who did her first dive in Singapore at Pulau Hantu. “On 19 May 2018,” she remembers exactly. “I have dived at Pulau Hantu 63 times since. I haven’t dived anywhere else in Singapore except in the pool!¬†I enjoy going to Hantu because of the wide variety of nudibranchs, and the convenience of going there. When I only have a weekend¬†for rest and recreation, I don’t have to travel for hours to immerse myself in a beautiful sea.”

Kissing Doto sp.

Meeting two Doto nudibranchs “kissing” was Veronica’s favourite moment from 2019.

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Sea Snails, Ostracods, and the Oldest Penis on Earth

Date November 2, 2019

Ostracod

You’ve probably never heard of an ostracod. Why would you? It’s a tiny creature, about the size of a mustard seed, and nothing much more than a head. It is not exactly the thing that many divers go looking for when they are out on the reef. While ostracods are not popular, they truly are fascinating. Since one (above) was recently photographed on Pulau Hantu’s reef, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to dedicate a post to this seemingly benign creature. Above photo: Toh Chay Hoon Read the rest of this entry »

Traits of Shapes

Date October 14, 2019

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In a recent blog post, I spoke to Hantu Blog volunteer Gina Tan about some lesser-known insights related to the shapes of coral. Samuel Chan is a PhD candidate at the National University of Singapore’s Reef Ecology Lab. After reading our post about coral shapes, he reached out to us to clarify some of the points we mentioned and shed more light on the fascinating traits of coral shapes! Photos by Nicholas Chew/Toh Chay Hoon/Debby Ng Read the rest of this entry »

Shapes of Coral

Date October 7, 2019

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You may have heard of boulder corals and soft corals, but did you know there were “runners”, “vines” and “trees” too?



I recently had the fantastic opportunity to catch up with Hantu Blog volunteer, Gina Tan. We spoke about sinking corals, butterflyfish and coral spawning. I was absolutely fascinated by her insight and unique views of the life history of reefs and wanted to learn her opinion about how our reefs, and in particular, Singapore reefs, might have adapted over time to become what we see today! Read the rest of this entry »

Cryptics, Mimics and Camouflage

Date July 29, 2019

Fishes at jetty

She looked down and saw “so many fishes!” Singapore’s relentless nudibranch hunter (armed only with a camera and a pair of superhuman eyes) spent a weekend with the reefs of Pulau Hantu and saw many creatures, great and small! Some where “pretending” to be something they are not, many were hiding, and others sat right out in the open because they were top predators! All photographs by Toh Chay Hoon. Read the rest of this entry »

Great Expectations

Date July 9, 2019

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Hearing about our volunteer, Nicholas Chew’s, experience of a coral spawning dive reminded me of Jane Goodall’s story about watching a hen lay an egg. Photos by Nicholas Chew. Read the rest of this entry »

Reef Walker

Date May 27, 2019

Ribbon Worm

Nudibranch enthusiast Toh Chay Hoon, has been diving and walking Singapore reefs for over a decade. The two ways of discovering our reef offer very different perspectives, and an opportunity to encounter different wildlife! Creatures that live in the intertidal zone (and that includes coral) have to be able to tolerate fresh water better than their deeper counterparts (because fresh water floats above salt water). Because wildlife in the intertidal zone differs from those that live in the deeper parts of the reef, they find interesting ways to live and feed – like the ribbon worm above! These spineless creatures may not look impressive, but it has a cousin from the North Sea that can grow to 60m! Despite their benign appearance, ribbon worms have highly developed muscles that allow them to contract their bodies, shrinking to a tenth of their extended length when threatened.
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