Recently I went on a solo dive which involved turning over a lot of rocks beneath one of my local piers. To be honest, after 90 minutes of rock turning, I had almost given up on finding anything even remotely interesting. This sort of treasure hunting always reminds me of eating endless Wonka Bars in the hopes of finding even a glimpse of a Golden Ticket. And just when you think you couldn’t possibly open one more loveless chocolate bar, you spy a hopeful glint of colour and hope your tired brain isn’t playing tricks on you …
This day, the Golden Ticket came in the form of a green animal I’d never seen before. It looked like a balloon animal trying to make itself into something more recognisable and failing miserably. At one point it seemed to poop but offered next to no other clues about its identity or anatomy.
As always when I find myself baffled, I went online to ask for some help to identify the mysterious critter. Some guessed it was a sea cucumber, but my gut screamed ‘Worm! It has to be a worm!’ Thankfully, some marine biologist friends were able to confirm exactly what kind of worm it was, and National Geographic featured my green balloon animal in a video, supplying even more information.
Although according to the video these Green Spoon Worms are typically found at around 65ft / 19.8 metres, my crazy cool critter was hiding at approximately 13 ft / 4 metres.
It’s always a thrill to find a marine critter I haven’t seen before and to learn a bit more about it. And extremely cool to share it with the world with the help of National Geographic!
Love and bubbles,