Bali Marine Biodiversity
The waters surrounding Bali are filled with a wide variety of marine life, making it a popular destination for divers, especially underwater photography enthusiasts. One of the highlights of Bali’s marine biodiversity is its location within the Coral Triangle. This region, often referred to as the “Amazon of the Sea” is home to more marine species than anywhere else on Earth. Here, the coral reefs have very colorful fauna, the Muck dives are full of rare and weird critters that the spotters will help you discover and, in the south, you can even see manta rays and the rare mola. Quite a program and, if you want to see it all with a diving safari in Bali. Here is an overview of what Bali has to offer if you want to photograph amazing marine biodiversity :
Amazing Coral Reefs:
Bali boasts some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs. These underwater ecosystems provide a habitat for countless marine species. You can find hard and soft coral formations, including vibrant table corals, branching corals, and more. The coral reefs are essential for the overall health of the marine ecosystem. The most colorful can be found around Nusa Penida island in the south of Bali. Here the colder water and the current are the perfect conditions for coral growth.
Around the USAT Liberty in Tulamben and while drifting in Amed you will also enjoy countless corals that will brighten up your dives. On those dives, you’ll have the opportunity to shoot many colorful reef fish like clownfish and angelfish as well as butterfly fish, wrasses, anthias, surgeons, and many more. Larger predators such as barracuda, giant trevally, and Napoleon wrasse hang around. Very often we’ll have the chance to encounter some turtles (hawkbill or green) or even some white or black-tip sharks. Wide-angle underwater photographers will enjoy the vibrant Bali Marine Biodiversity surrounding and capture amazing landscapes.
Muck dives in Tulamben and Amed
Before we dive into the details of Bali’s muck-diving critters, it’s essential to understand what muck-diving is all about. Muck diving is a type of diving that takes place in areas with muddy or silty seabed. Despite the seemingly barren landscape, underwater photographers love the incredible diversity of critters that call these murky waters home.
Mantis Shrimp: Bali’s waters are home to various species of mantis shrimp. They are known for their vibrant colors and powerful claws. Their eyes are mesmerizing and will be the highlight of great pictures.
Decorator Crabs: These crabs adorn themselves with bits of debris and often go unnoticed due to their excellent camouflage skills. Amazing animal behavior images to expect.
Shrimps and Crabs: Bali’s muck diving sites are rich in various species of shrimp and crabs, such as the harlequin shrimp, Tiger shrimp, and many more. Those tiny crustaceans are often colorful and pose for incredible images.
Frogfish: These masters of disguise can be found lurking among sponges or debris. Bali has several species, including the warty frogfish and the painted frogfish. They are always ready to pose for the picture and may even yawn or hunt if you’re patient.
Seahorses: Numerous seahorse (Hippocampus Taeniopterus, histrix) species inhabit Bali’s waters, often clinging to seagrass or coral. Their long faces will make superb symmetric images.
Pygmy Seahorses: Bali is famous for its pygmy seahorses, including the Denise and the Bargibanti pygmy seahorse, which are tiny and often found living on gorgonian corals. Their cute faces and gorgonian background make great pictures.
Ghost Pipefish: These slender, elongated fish are well-camouflaged and come in various colors and patterns. In Tulamben only, we can spot harlequin, robust, halimeda, and even the rare purple velvet ghost pipefish.
Pegasus Sea Moths: These bizarre-looking creatures resemble a mix between a seahorse and a dragon, with wing-like fins. Those prehistoric-looking animals always look away when you try to shoot them, but a good picture is very rewarding.
Ambon Scorpionfish and Rhinopias: Another master of disguise, the Ambon scorpionfish blends seamlessly with the substrate. The Rhinopias with its funny-looking eyebrows and flashy colors is always the star of the underwater photographers.
Juvenile Fish: Many juvenile fish, like lionfish, pufferfish, sweetlips, and beautiful batfish can be found in Bali’s muck diving sites.
Pipefish: These relatives of seahorses are slender and elongated, often found swaying with the current. They are very challenging to make good pictures.
Nudibranchs: Bali boasts a wide variety of nudibranchs. Colorful and intricately patterned sea slugs come in all shapes and sizes. Shaun the sheep, donut doto, and kiku Tarobabaï are just some of the residents of the muck dives of Tulamben.
Cuttlefish: Cuttlefish are intelligent cephalopods known for their incredible ability to change color and texture to blend in with their surroundings. We can see many species around Amed and Tulamben including the bobtail squid and even the very rare flamboyant cuttlefish has been spotted.
Blue-Ringed Octopus: While they are small venomous, and even deadly, spotting a blue-ringed octopus can be a highlight of muck diving in Bali due to their striking coloration.