Close-up on Pulau Hantu

Date July 8, 2012

Hypselodoris emmae PHOTO: Jimmy Goh

Hantu Blog volunteer and underwater photographer Jimmy Goh, who recently had his pictures published in the book Habitat’s in Harmony, gives us a close-up perspective of Pulau Hantu’s macro fauna, beginning with the beautiful sea slug above.

Coral polyps PHOTO: Jimmy Goh

Most divers often fail to slow down and appreciate the intricate details of life on the reef, as they dart from one point to another during dives. One of the best things about diving at Pulau Hantu is that we are forced to slow down and scrutinize every square inch of reef because of low visibility conditions and the fact that we have a very small reef around Hantu island, so we never really travel very far while we are diving!

Polyclad flatworm PHOTO: Jimmy Goh

Evidently, despite the small size of the reef, there is lots of be discovered. So a diver with keen senses and alert eyes will be well rewarded with the strange and unusual.

Detail of enlarged dorsal spine on Seagrass filefish PHOTO: Jimmy Goh

Even taking a second look at some common lifeforms on the reef can reveal stunning beauty that is too often overlooked, learning to see usual things in unusual ways.

Sea Maiden Fan Oceanapia sagittaria PHOTO: Jimmy Goh

A close-up of the spicules or skeleton of this small and fragile sponge that to many, appears benign on the reef. Did you know that the spicules of certain deep-sea sponges have similar traits to Optical fibre. In addition to being able to trap and transport light, these spicules have a number of advantages over commercial fibre optic wire. They are stronger, resist stress easier, and form their own support elements. Also, the low-temperature formation of the spicules, as compared to the high temperature stretching process of commercial fibre optics, allows for the addition of impurities which improve the refractive index. In addition, these spicules have built-in lenses in the ends which gather and focus light in dark conditions. It has been theorized that this ability may function as a light source for symbiotic algae or as an attractor for shrimp which live inside the Venus’ Flower Basket. Doesn’t sound so benign anymore does it!?

Allied cowrie on Whip coral PHOTO: Jimmy Goh

The Hantu Blog is very privileged to have on our team the creative talent and passion of divers and photographers such as Jimmy Goh, whose pictures help bring the reef to life in fascinating and wonderful pictures such as those above! His images and those of other volunteers have also contributed to the education of other coastal areas in Singapore beyond Pulau Hantu! Jimmy Goh is an active reef guide with the Hantu Bloggers, meet him in person by joining our dives!


Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>